Wether or not you need to brush your dog’s teeth might vary from dog to dog. If you decide you do, you should know your options as to how and with which tools.
You want fresh food dog food for your doggy instead of dry or canned wet food? Farmer’s Dog is similar to NomNomNow, a monthly subscription box for fresh dog food. In our Farmer’s Dog review we will tell you all you have to know about getting home-cooked meals delivered for your dog. Most dog food delivery services including Farmer’s Dog reviews online are very positive because they offer a lot of convenience and reassurance that their pet food is good for your dog’s health.
Farmer’s Dog Review & Experience
Our dog is a pretty picky dog and didn’t enjoy the dry or canned dog food that we used in the beginning very much. We often struggled with her eating on a normal feeding schedule. She would usually eat on the dog food throughout the day but not all at once. As pet parents we were worried if she ate enough and if this diet was the best for her. We tried Farmer’s Dog delivery and were happy to see that the dog foods are coming cooked in convenient packs.
When you first switch your dog’s diet, you need to make sure that you slowly transition to the new food over a few days.
Upon opening the box, we liked that the dog food looked like real food and not mushy like canned food. You feel like you can see all the ingredients of the food.
How much does Farmer’s Dog cost?
The cost for Farmer’s Dog pet food is based on different factors. In a questionnaire will ask the dog owners about the dog’s breed as well as the age and activity level of the pup.
How do you store your Farmer’s Dog?
Because the dog food is freshly cooked, you should place the majority of the meals in the freezer when you get the delivery. You can keep ones for the next days in the fridge as you will use them soon and to have them not frozen when it is meal time.
If you want grain-free dog food with nutrient rich ingredients, I would recommend a fresh dog food delivery like Farmer’s Dog. It is a pet owners dream by having your dog excited about every single meal. Also, the cooked dog food is not as smelly in the fridge as canned food is, especially if you don’t use a whole can and leave part of it in the fridge. However, there are other subscription services for fresh pet food and our number one favorite is NomNomNow because they seem to care even more about the dog’s health and making sure your doggy has everything in their diet that it needs by offering additional products like a Gut Microbiome Kit to test your dog’s gut bacteria.
If you have a dog, you want them to be healthy and happy. I always thought it was fine and normal to give dogs regular dry or canned food from the store and don’t get me wrong – I don’t think there is anything wrong with that still. But after looking into it more, I realized that I wasn’t always completely sure if I gave my puppy the right amount of food and sometimes she didn’t seem to enjoy it that much, too. I found out about NomNomNow from an ad on Instagram and wanted to see what it is all about. In this NomNomNow review I will cover why we chose to use this dog food and tell you the pros and cons.
NomNomNow is a monthly dog food subscription. They send a month’s supply of frozen food individually packaged to give your dog two packets a day. What is great about it is that they measure it for your dog’s requirements. The packets will vary if you have a 20lbs Shiba Inu or a 40lbs Golden Retriever. Also, you can state if you are trying to get your dog to gain or lose a few pounds or if they are at the healthy weight. It leaves out the guessing for yourself. It is a great option for and our puppy is a perfect example of one that now love to meals in one go.
NomNomNow Review & Experience
When we received our first NomNomNow meals, they arrived in a big box and we had to make sure we had enough space in our freezer to store most of the meals.
When you first switch your dog’s diet, you need to make sure that you slowly transition to the new food over a few days. Otherwise your pet might have an upset stomach for a bit while adjusting to the new food.
The first impression from out dog was that she loved the taste of this fresh food so much more than the wet food we used to give her. When it was feeding time, she immediately got excited and ate it all in one go. This didn’t happen with any other dog food before. Our own impression of the as dog owners was also very pleasant as it actually looks like human food and we were able to see all the ingredients in the pet food. It actually looks like food humans could eat and it definitely doesn’t smell bad as a lot of canned food does.
The fact that all of the are individually packed is great especially compared to canned where you might only use half or have leftovers that need to be stowed away. It simply makes quick and easy. From all the out there that we tried, from , , and even other brands, has become our ‘s ever.
We also saw that some people try to make their own for their , but to us the worry was that it will not have all the in the that should be there.
The fact that the , pre-cooked and send out quickly to remain , as well as that the are developed by a shows that the company cares to provide with a great for their dog. are all really
How much does NomNomNow cost?
The Price very much depends on your dog. They will ask you questions (breed, age, current weight, goal weight, and allergies) to figure out what you will need for your doggy. For our 21lbs Pomsky, 4 years old and no known allergies, we got to $100/month.
This includes a whole month supply that comes in meal packs of two/day.
Do you have to cook NomNomNow?
NomNomNow meals are pre-cooked meal packs for your so that all you have to do is defrost and open the individual pack. If you want to make it a little warm you can do so by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds or warm it up a little in a short warm water bath.
How do you store your NomNomNow?
You store the dog food in the freezer as you will get a whole month’s worth of fresh dog food. We usually keep a few days worth in the fridge so it is not frozen when we give it to our dog. It has not made our and our any harder but easier.
What other products does NomNomNow offer?
NomNomNow really wants to make sure that your dog’s health is good and they offer additional products to make dog owners able to find out if there is anything in the diet that might be good to add to your dog’s diet.
The NomNomNow Microbiome Kit is very useful to find out about your dog’s gut bacteria and if there are specific things to consider when choosing dog food for your dog’s specific needs. Your dog might be missing certain bacteria in the gut, which could be the cause for an upset stomach. If so, you can find the needed probiotics that you can add to your pet food.
Nutrition is not the only important thing for your dog’s health. If you want to add gut bacteria that your dog is missing or maintain a good balance of the bacteria it is good to look into probiotics. This probiotic support was formulated by their nutritionist as well and can be added during meal time on the pet food of your choice.
I would recommend NomNomNow to pet parents that want to make sure their dog gets the right nutrition and vitamins and not worry about giving their dog the right amount of calories. The fresh pet food will also benefit anyone whose dog is a picky eater. It is pricy but also gives a lot of convenience to a dog owner with automated pet food delivery and easy to use meal packs.
It’s always a cause for concern when you notice that your canine companion is having health troubles. Just like humans, doggos can have sensitive stomachs. Several signs can alert you to an upset stomach and digestive issues, and there are more than a few options for treating the symptoms and ultimately restoring your furry friend to health and happiness. When Fido’s not feeling fine, it can be stressful for everyone. DoggyAdvice made a list of some of the most popular and best dog food for sensitive stomachs. Below we also got answers to some of the most common questions surrounding sensitive stomach issues in dogs.
Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food
Dry Dog Food
Canned Dog Food
Does My Dog Have A Sensitive Stomach?
You may have recently noticed some symptoms of stomach sensitivity in your dog, and now you’re wondering how to know for sure. Of course, if your pup is having severe problems, your best bet is to head to the vet to get your pet the immediate care they need. However, if you’re just starting to put together the puzzle pieces on what’s bothering your pup, here are some indications to take into consideration.
Signs Your Dog is Suffering From Stomach Problems
Fortunately, the signs and symptoms of dogs with sensitive stomachs and pups that are feeling under the weather shouldn’t be all that hard to spot. Unfortunately, they’re not at all lovely to look at or experience in person. At least it’s simple to discern when there’s a problem. To help you decipher the signs, as Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney told Animal Planet, here’s a list of some common symptoms of sensitive stomach in pups.
Sometimes dogs simply have a tummy ache. You may have seen your canine chomping on grass in the yard. That’s how they induce vomiting themselves if something has made their tummy feel yucky. Every now and again is relatively ordinary. But if your pup is throwing up a lot or has other symptoms like gas and diarrhea, it’s worth checking out what’s going on as it might be a sensitive stomach.
Because they gulp air when overly-excited about eating, dogs can end up gas discomfort if they tend to chow down too quickly at dinnertime. Again, when combined with other symptoms, it can be a sign of gastrointestinal illness or other digestive issues.
Loose, runny stools are a sure sign that something is amiss in the digestive tract. It could be as simple as your furry friend breaking into a dish of leftovers from the fridge or a recent change in dog food. Whatever the cause, if it happens occasionally and alone, it’s no cause for alarm. Do remember that a dog with diarrhea needs extra hydration, so make sure to leave a full water bowl for Fido no matter what other steps you take.
Ever wonder why doggos do this? As referenced above, their instincts and intuition have taught them over time that eating grass will literally tickle their tummies, thereby inducing vomiting. So, on the one hand, like all of the above symptoms, it could be harmless. You know your furbaby best, and you know when it’s time to call on the vet. Dogs with sensitive stomachs might show only some of the mentioned symptoms. When in doubt, always be safe and ask a vet.
Breed-Based Stomach Problems
Knowing your pup’s breed and background can be a great place to start when you’re searching for answers about potential in dogs with sensitive stomachs. Some doggos simply have the genetic inclination for digestive problems and sensitive stomachs.
Larger breeds with deep chests like Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, and even Basset Hounds are especially prone to something called Gastric Dilation-volvulus. In layman’s terms, that’s a twisted stomach or bloat. The condition can be fatal if left untreated. WebMD for Pets reports that it can be particularly painful for your pup and always results in the need for veterinary intervention if a dog’s stomach does become twisted.
Smaller breeds aren’t totally in the clear either. Small-sized doggos like Terriers and Yorkies can have stomach issues that are unique to their size as well. Since itsy-bitsy pups have itsy-bitsy tummies, dry dog food can expand inside their small stomachs leading to vomiting and other signs of stomach sensitivity.
Other Causes of A Sensitive Stomach
While the cause can be genetic, as for the Fido’s mentioned above, it can also be any number of common (and not so common) ailments caused by a variety of culprits. If you’ve been noticing signs of an upset or sensitive stomach, your vet can do various tests to help understand precisely what’s causing the problem and how best to treat it. Of course, a visit to the vet is always your best source for diagnosing dog problems, but here are some standard issues that might be causing your pet to suffer.
- Worms or other parasites
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Stomach Bloat
- Acid Reflux
- Dog Food Allergy
- Sensitivity to Medications
The good news is that no matter the size or breed of your doggo, there are things you can do to help keep their digestive systems happy, healthy, and working well. Let’s take a look at some recommended precautionary and preemptive steps you can take to keep your tail-wagger’s tummy feeling fine and dandy.
Changes in Diet and Exercise For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs
Thankfully, medical care for dogs has advanced rapidly in the past several decades. There are medical interventions and medications available to treat almost any condition including for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s wonderful to have these services available, but it’s also important to remember that good health relies on a healthy dose of prevention, too. Here are some non-medical options you can consider if you’ve noticed signs of indigestion or stomach sensitivity or if you’re simply looking to head off the problem before it arises.
Elevate Doggo’s Dog Bowl
There are a number of products out there designed to make eating more ergonomic for your pup. Chewy.com, the Amazon of the pet world, has some great options you can explore for lifting Fido’s food and water dishes. The idea behind this solution, especially for larger breeds, is that they gulp less air when they eat at muzzle level than when they have to drop their heads low to the bowl to eat and drink. It’s a solid preventative measure if you know your dog is prone to a sensitive stomach, and it’s definitely a change worth implementing if your pup is already experiencing issues.
Go For A Walk – Before Eating
Exercise is generally considered good for digestion, and taking a stroll after supper is something many folks and Fidos might do with good intentions. As it turns out, the exercise part itself is spot-on, but there are actually dangers associated with letting your canine get too crazy in their after-dinner activities.
For dogs and humans alike, exercise is an essential element of day-to-day health maintenance. Timing is the make it or break it factor here. Just like you wouldn’t likely choose right after a heavy meal as the ideal time for a high cardio workout, your dog’s digestive system doesn’t think it’s a great idea either.
Especially for the larger-breed furbabies mentioned above, eating a large meal and then going out for playtime can spell trouble for your tail-wagger in a hurry. When the stomach is heavy with food and gulped air from excited eating or rough play is a time when you should be extra aware of your pup’s wellbeing, particularly if your dog’s breed is known to be at risk for a twisted stomach.
Choose Alternatives to Dry Dog Food
In addition to healthy and safe activity levels, some pups just don’t sit so well with kibble in their stomachs. Like the small breeds mentioned above who can get sick if dry dog food expands too much in their stomachs, there are various reasons why you might ditch dry dog food to help your pup feel better.
For example, allergies and acid reflux are two common culprits of tummy troubles in dogs, and both can be treated, at least in part, by a change in doggie-diet. Eliminating potential allergens from your dog’s diet is a great way to help improve their digestive health. Gluten, rice, and soy are all common sources of sensitive stomachs, so look for dog food that’s free of these.
Also, look for non-GMO products that are as chemical-free as possible, meaning the fewer, the better in terms of preservatives and additives present in your pup’s food. Basically, you and man’s best friend will both be feeling great about your smart decisions to stay away from dull, dry processed dog foods.
The Dog Bakery breaks down the right way to go slow about it with any food transition you make with your dog. They say it should be a process that takes around 7-10 days, during which you progressively increase the amount of new food your dog eats each day as you steadily decrease the old food until your canine is eating the new cuisine exclusively.
Try an Elimination Diet
You know something is bothering your furry friend, but you haven’t been able to pin down the cause. As mentioned above, many ingredients in processed dog foods can irritate your pet’s digestive system. When this is the cause for your canine’s discomfort, removing that food from their diet will relieve the reaction. Even with healthy, high-quality ingredient food, it might not be the best dog food for your particular doggie because of one specific ingredient.
In an elimination diet, you’ll make the transition to a new food, free of potential irritants. If you see from the switch that tummy troubles ease up, then it’s clear that the old food was part of the problem. You can begin to add back elements one-by-one, and when your pup has a reaction to dog treats that contain gluten, for example, you’ll know that gluten-free is the way to go for Fido.
If you think trying an elimination diet sounds like it could be the right solution for your doggo, check out the many fresh dog food options that abound. Companies like Farmer’s Dog offer fresh, human-quality dog food, and they even deliver it straight to your door, a decided bonus in our current times.
Consult With Your Veterinarian
Obviously, there are times when preventative measures simply aren’t sufficient, and it’s clear that medical care is needed. If your dog is showing signs of distress or is repeatedly experiencing upset and sensitive stomach symptoms, consulting with your vet is always the best bet. For some dog food for sensitive stomachs you will need a prescription from your vet. He will also be able to advise you on the best dog food for sensitive stomachs or other course of action for your dog’s sensitive tummy.
We encourage you to maintain a close relationship with a qualified, high-quality veterinarian that you and your pet both adore. In the case of sensitive stomachs, because there are so many variables and sometimes it’s difficult to discern what’s behind your pup’s stomach problems, it’s essential that you have someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to treat your doggo. Here are some tips we scored from the American Veterinary Medical Association on finding the best vet for your pet!
A Little Help From Your Friends – A great place to start vet-hunting is in your own backyard. Ask around with friends or neighbors who they use as a vet and why.
Get Your Pedigree On – If your pet has pedigree papers proving their genetics, AVMA suggests searching for a local breeder’s club. They’re likely to have a vet who’s very knowledgeable about your particular type of pup.
Check Out Your Vet Before You Need Them – Another great suggestion from AVMA is to make sure you find your vet in advance of any potential pet-care needs. You can eliminate scary situations like needing emergency care without knowing where to turn. Plus, finding a vet while you’re still anticipating a pet means you can ask for their knowledgeable input on what
Office Hours, Emergencies, & Other Services – Vet your veterinarian before striking up a conversation about your canine. You’ll want to know about appointment times and availability, who covers the clinic if when the vet is out, if the office handles emergencies or refers out to a hospital, as well as what range of services they offer like boarding and grooming.
Payment for Service – This one is pretty straightforward. You’ll want to be sure you know what forms of payment are accepted and if the office accepts pet insurance. If you already have a policy, make sure you select a vet who’s included in your network. If you’ve found a vet you like, ask what insurance they accept and consider a policy with that company.
When looking at your dog, you might have noticed that sometimes they wink at you out of nowhere. Maybe you’re thinking this is just a cute quirk or maybe they are trying to tell you something? We always like to try to figure out our little fur babies and like to know what they are thinking or why they are doing certain things.
Between dogs it is normal that sometimes dogs want to establish their dominance. When meeting a new dog, usually both dogs will stare at each other for some time. They want to keep an eye on a possible threat. Eye contact in a dog’s body language conveys alertness and challenging the other. Once one or both blink, wink or look away, it usually signals that they submit and are non-threatening. Of course, there are other signals dogs sometimes choose to give to show that they just want to play like laying down. But breaking a gaze is one of the most common signs used to demonstrate that they want to do no harm. If neither one submits, a fight is likely to break out.
When your dog winks at you it is likely due to instinct and showing you that they submit to you, too. Similarly, you might see him look away for a few seconds when you look at him. Those are simply signals that they keep from interacting with other dogs.
Dogs are smart and pick up on things that others do. They learn little things from interactions with other dogs but also with humans. You might have noticed that your dog started playing more using his paws after playing with another dog that did that. It is very similar. If you wink at your pup a lot, he might pick up on it and eventually start imitating your wink.
While in most cases the winking should be harmless, it can potentially be a symptom of a health problem. Short nose breeds are prone to entropion, a genetic condition, where the eyelids flip inwards. In this case the dog blinks and winks out of pain. If you think this might be the case or your dog is showing excessive winking or blinking, you should see a vet. They will be able to tell you for sure and consult to find a solution to the problem.
It is also possible that your dog simply got something into his eye. Similar to when we get something small into our eyes, we blink as well.
As you can see winking is not just a quirk or response to something you said. You can also try to teach them to wink on command but for that you would need to reward your dog when he ‘accidentally’ winks at you.
A lot of pet owners worry about their furry friends when they behave different than usual or than they expect. First time dog owners might especially ask themselves why is my dog breathing really fast, it is normal, and if they should be worried or not. There are multiple reasons for it. But first thing you should know is what is a normal respiratory rate.
What is a normal breathing rate for my puppy?
For puppies, normal is 15-40 breaths per minute.
For an adult dog, normal is 10-30 breaths per minute.
So, puppies often have a little bit faster breathing rhythm compared to adult dogs. It can also depend on the size of your dog.
How to count the breathing rate?
You want to know how fast your pup is breathing right now? Take a look at your puppy’s chest moving up and down, expanding and contracting.
Now count the number of breaths for 15 or 30 seconds, and multiply by 4 or 2 respectively. This gives you a breathing rate. You can also count how many breaths in one go for 60 seconds to get the same result.
Once you know their breaths per minute you can compare it to the normal values. If it is clearly higher, you know that yes, your pooch is definitely breathing rapidly.
Should I be concerned?
There can be multiple reasons for your dog to have heavy breathing, but one reason for difficulty breathing might be a symptom of medical conditions. If you feel worried or it is not getting better, it is always best to take your dog to the vet to get a professional opinion. If your pup’s rapid breathing is accompanied by other breathing problems such as coughing and panting, it is definitely a good idea ask your vet.
For example, kennel cough is common in puppies and it is transmitted easily from one dog to another. Your pup could also potentially suffer from allergies or even heart or lung problems.
Therefore, please do go to see a vet if you feel worried.
Other reasons for rapid breathing in dogs
Breathing fast while sleeping is usually because they are having vivid dreams during the rapid eye movement phase. It is also sometimes accompanied by movements of the body like kicking as well as sounds like whining or a little bark. It’s hard to know if your dog is having a nightmare or a pleasant dream. In both those responses can occur.
In general, rapid breathing should become normal again once he wakes up. It is not advised to wake up your doggie while he is sleeping as this can be a shock for him and you don’t know how he will react. Some dogs, when taken out of their dream abruptly, can snap at the person waking them up.
If your puppy has spent a lot of time in the sun and now is breathing so fast, he might be overheated. Dog’s body temperature can get very high from laying and playing in the sun. In this case bring him inside the house or into the shade and give him water to cool down.
Rapid breathing may also be caused because your pup feels too hot while sleeping in a hot room during the summer or if the heater is on high. If this is the case, then lower the temperature, turn on the air conditioner or a fan to help cool down your pup. Make sure to take your dog out of the sun and provide him with cold water. You don’t want your pup to have a heatstroke. Also, never leave your dog locked in a hot car.
Puppies tend to have so much energy and love their zoomies. After an energetic and wild play session or a long walk or hike, fast breathing can be a sign of over exertion. It is similar to us humans when we go for a run or do other physical activity with high intensity.
Your dog may just need a break and lay down for a little bit. Before you have another play session, wait until his breathing goes back to normal. If you’re going on a hike, consider taking a backpack or carrier for your dog to be in if he shows signs of exhaustion.
When first bringing home your new puppy it is a completely new experience and environment from what they’re used to. It can be kind of stressful for them. This can cause fast breathing or panting.
Later on, having a lot of people over can also stress your dog a bit. While those instances are also exiting, they are unusual situations for a puppy. He will need to get used to new people or strangers stopping by.
Similarly, the first times being in a car or visiting a new place can be frightening for them because they simply don’t know what is going on.
After your dog has gotten use to the new home or having strangers sometimes come visit, the fast breathing should also get better. For new places they go to, try to give them comfort and offer treats to show that this is okay and nothing dangerous. If your pup is having separation anxiety and your puppy is breathing fast when you try to leave the house, you should work on it yourself or with a dog trainer.
As you can see, you may not have to worry right away about your dog’s rapid breathing as there can be easy solutions and preventions. We always say, however, better safe than sorry. If you are still worried or your pup is showing other symptoms of a possible health issue, you need a vet’s opinion in person.
We love our doggies but when we want to give them scraps from the table, we need to know which foods are fine for them to eat and which can be dangerous and harmful to their health.
Which foods are dangerous for dogs?
What are safe for dogs?
If your canine companion has carried home a lice infestation, you’re understandably concerned about eradicating these itchy, creepy, crawly critters as quickly as possible. Even though you may have had an experience with lice in humans, there are a few key differences when it comes to canines, and you’ll need to know the specifics of how to vanquish these varmints from your pup’s fur. Doggy Advice has the knowledge you’ll need to get rid of dog lice and keep them away for good.
What Are Dog Lice?
Dog lice are actually parasites, and an infestation of the insects is called pediculosis in your vet’s vocab. This particular pest is a teeny-tiny, wingless, six-legged bug that lives in the feathers and fur of mammals and birds. The clingy claws at the end of their legs let them hang on tight to the hair shafts of your canine’s coat.
There are two different types of dog lice, chewing and sucking lice. The first category of the critters feasts on dead skin cells and sebaceous secretions from your dog’s epidermis. The second type is vampire-like and sustains itself by sucking your pup’s blood. Here’s what you need to know about both of these types of parasites and the regions where your pup could pick them up.
- Chewing lice: The key characteristic of these lice is their unsharpened, flat head. Like the name says, their primary food source comes from chewing up your pup’s skin debris. There are two species of chewing lice that your canine can catch. The first, Trichodectes canis, is the most common, and this little globetrotter can be found worldwide. The second is Heterodoxus spiniger, and it lives mainly in tropical regions. Although infestations of this species have been confirmed in North America in wild canines like gray wolves, coyotes, and red foxes and in southeastern Mexico in domesticated dogs. This type of lice can serve as a vector for tapeworms, too, so make sure to check in with your vet if you find these critters on your canine.
- Sucking lice: Linognathus setosus is the scientific nomenclature for the type of louse that wants to dracula your doggo. These lice need to feed on more than just skin cells, and sucking blood is what it takes for them to survive. In contrast to the flat head of chewing lice, sucking lice have sharp, spiky mouths that let them access the blood supply. These bloodsuckers thrive in tropical and subtropical areas across the globe, including in North and South America.
Can I Catch Lice From My Dog?
This question is probably at the forefront of any pet owner’s mind when a lice infestation is found on their canine companion. Let’s all breathe a deep sigh of relief here because the answer is, thankfully, no. Turns out lice are picky eaters. Their dining preferences are so particular that they’re actually species-specific.
Literally, lice are made to live on only one other creature. That’s because their clingy clawed-feet are designed to grasp precisely the hair or feather shaft of whatever animal is hosting them and nothing and no one else. Even if lice manage to jump onto your skin from a doggo who’s carrying them, the lice would die because you’re not a viable food source.
So there’s the good news in this creepy-crawly conversation, since lice are specific to their hosts, your preschooler can’t catch lice from your pup and vice versa; your pup won’t pick up an infestation if there are human lice on a household member.
Where Did My Dog Get Lice?
Another common question folks ask about Fido’s lice infestation is how did this happen? Where did my dog get lice? The short answer is that lice come from contact. This can be contact with another dog who has lice or contact with contaminated objects. If your doggo has been in close contact places like the dog park, a kennel, the groomer’s, dog-training classes, or a shelter, they could’ve contracted the contagious critters from any one of these places.
Signs Your Dog Has Lice
Itching and scratching are fairly standard dog behaviors. We’ve all seen our Rovers run their hind legs while rubbing an itchy ear. But how do you know when your pup’s itch isn’t ordinary? If your doggo has had bouts of extreme itchiness, in some cases so much so that they scratch until their skin is broken and bleeding, that’s a sure sign that something’s up. In addition to the skin trauma that can be caused by itching, lice infestations can also cause your canine companion some serious discomfort and can lead to hair loss and infection.
A lice infestation will be apparent when you look closely at your pup’s coat and skin, as you’ll be able to see the lice. How will you know the difference between lice and fleas? Color and speed of movement are key here. Lice are lazy little louses, and they move much slower than fleas, plus, they’re lighter in color. You’ll also be able to see their eggs. The eggs might look like dandruff flakes, but if they’re sticky and tricky to scrape away from the hair shaft, they’re very likely to be lice eggs.
Diagnosis of Lice
According to the AKC, diagnosis of lice in happily domesticated doggos is relatively rare. Regular vet visits and access to monthly flea and tick preventatives have driven down the number of infestations among dogs whose humans keep up with their health care. This means that a lice infestation is more likely in animals who are “old, sick, stray, or feral.” Even so, if you’ve found lice on your dog, it’s time to head to the vet.
You’ll need to make an appointment with your vet to get Fido fixed up from the infestation. Your vet will check a sample of your dog’s skin to see what type of fleas they’ve contracted. Lice will likely be found beneath clumped or matted fur. They like the moisture of sweaty spots and can be commonly found on the head, neck, and shoulders or along the groin and tail.
Under a microscope, your vet can get a better view of the lice’s distinguishing features, like the larger mouthparts of the chewing lice versus the narrower mouthpiece and more developed claws that distinguish the sucking lice. Your vet’s diagnosis will be based on your reports and their own visual inspection and identification of the insects.
How To Treat A Lice Infestation On Your Dog?
A good bath will undoubtedly be part of the solution, but it’s important to remember that plain old soap and water won’t rid your pet of their lice infestation. Upon diagnosis, your vet will recommend a course of treatment.
It may be necessary to clip away any matted areas of fur in a severe infestation as these will contain lice and eggs that need to be removed. After clipping away problem areas, a flea comb can be used to remove any lice or eggs you find on other parts of the coat. Next comes treatment.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council says that insecticides are a common and effective treatment for lice in dogs. Fipronil, imidacloprid, and selamectin are some potential medications your vet may give your pup. As a topical treatment, your vet may also prescribe permethrin. It’s important not to share any of these medications with other pets in your home outside of your vet’s direction, as many of these typical lice treatments that are helpful for dogs are toxic to cats.
The insecticide your vet prescribes may be a shampoo used to suds up your pet, or it may be a topical treatment. Either way, it’s important to remember that these prescription medications won’t kill the eggs, meaning you may have to repeat these treatments in the month (or months) to come.
Types of Treatments for Lice in Dogs
Alternatively, there are also safe, non-toxic treatments for lice that you may want to look at. While insecticide treatments are considered extremely effective, that’s due to the fact that they employ some exceptionally harsh chemical cocktails. If you’re the type to prefer a more natural route, here are a couple of ideas you might want to try.
The Spruce Pets recommends a sulfur-lime dip treatment. Yes, it smells of sulfur, and it may turn your pup’s fur temporarily yellow, but it’s also highly effective. Your vet will also have info on this type of lice treatment and the frequency with which you’ll need to dip your pet.
Wag Walking offers up a different natural treatment option. They recommend trying a citrus shampoo that contains the non-toxic ingredient d-Limonene followed by a lemon water rinse as a repellent.
No matter which treatment you choose, you’ll need to go over your dog’s fur with a fine-tooth comb, literally. Even though it’s designed for a different insect, the principle is the same, and a flea come will work wonders here. This type of comb is designed to pull away dead lice after treatment and also lets you view your pet’s coat down to the roots where the eggs can attach.
As mentioned above, removing the nits (the technical name for lice eggs) is the only way to ensure the infestation doesn’t come back. You’ll need to do this close-combing routine after each treatment and probably a few times in between too. Since new lice can hatch from nits left behind on the hair, continued treatment will be necessary until your vet gives you the all-clear.
Decontamination Of Your Dog’s Environment
Lice live in extremely unsanitary conditions, which is why it’s so unlikely that doggos who are living it up and lounging about their happy homes with their doting human companions are going to encounter them. Nevertheless, if you’re working with a rescue animal, for example, and you’ve had a dog with lice in any area of your home, it’s essential to decontaminate the space to prevent future infestations or spreading of the lice from one pet to another.
First, any soft surfaces such as bedding, chew toys, and even collars and leashes should be thoroughly washed or disposed of in the event that washing isn’t possible. In other words, if it can’t be dunked in sudsy, hot water, and/or bleached or cleaned with a bleach solution, then you should probably ditch it. Also, make sure to sweep hard floors and vacuum carpets regularly.
Dipping your dog’s grooming tools in insecticide between uses, never using them on other pets during an active infestation, and ditching them after the infestation has been cleared up is also a recommended tactic. Lice and nits can cling to the bristles of brushes and result in renewed infestation if they manage to make it back onto your doggo or another pet in the household.
It may seem costly to replace all these items that may need thrown out. Still, when compared with the fees for vet visits and the various treatments for lice, you’ll see that the comparatively small expense of replacing these items can save you much more money down the road in avoiding another infestation altogether.
Finally, consider quarantining your canine for around a month. At least in that they shouldn’t be sharing close quarters with other animals and that their bedding should undoubtedly be kept separate.
Considerations About Canine Lice Infestations
If you’ve come across a dog who has lice and doesn’t seem to have a home, a likely case since lice love filthy living conditions, you may be wondering whether or not you can help the animal without putting yourself, your kids, or the furry best friend(s) you’ve got at home at risk too.
In short, since lice are species-specific, you won’t need to worry about yourself or your kids catching lice, but you will need to protect any other pet’s in your home. The most important thing to do is get an examination with your vet and follow all their recommendations for how to kick this itchy insect infestation and keep everyone safe and healthy in the process.
As pet parents, it hurts our very own hearts to see our canine companions suffer. It’s likely you’re here because your pet has suffered a knee injury, and you’re looking for solutions. The good news is, there are a lot of them out there, and a knee brace for dogs can be an excellent aid in healing your pup’s hurt leg. Doggy Advice is here to help you understand dog knee braces, which one might be the best bet for your pet, and to answer the FAQs that folks most commonly ask about dog knee braces.
Signs of Knee Injury In Dogs
First things first, let’s define “knee” in terms of doggy anatomy. Since canines are quadrupeds (they walk on four legs instead of two), it’s easy to think of the joints in any of their legs as “knees” or something similar to the knee in the human sense.
Here’s a little bit of terminology trivia for you, though. Your dog’s front leg joints are actually considered elbows rather than knees, while the primary joints of the back legs are much more closely related to our knees. In your vet’s vocabulary, this joint is called the stifle or the tibiofemoral joint.
Now that we know what’s where in terms of Fido’s bones, we can talk about how to spot signs of trauma or injury to your dog’s knees (or elbows).
- Limping – you may see your furry friend favoring a limb and not bearing their total weight on a particular paw. This is a sign that something isn’t feeling quite right to your pup. It could be that they picked up a sticker or a thorn from their romp through the park, but if you can’t find anything immediately apparent, there’s a chance it’s an injury.
- Lameness – if you see that your pup can’t put any weight on a particular limb at all, that’s a sure sign there’s trauma, injury, or pain of some kind.
- Avoiding Activities – Let’s say your furry best friend can usually be found curled up beside you on the couch, but suddenly you notice they aren’t hopping up to join you. Or, your dog ordinarily adores car rides, but they’re not showing any interest in a ride-along these days. Losing interest or not being able to do the day-to-day activities they usually love is a good tip-off that your pet could be in pain.
How A Knee Brace Can Help
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it might be time to consider checking in with your vet. Keeping in close contact with your regular vet is sound advice for all pet parents, and a visit to the vet is the most essential step in helping your pet heal if there’s been an accident or an emergency event that left your pet’s leg injured. Whether you decide to try it out on your own at home or your vet recommends it, here’s how a knee brace can aid your pup’s ailing limb.
Full Support – A knee brace will offer your dog extra support so that your pup doesn’t bear their full weight on an injured joint. The stability provided helps your fur baby stay as mobile as possible during the healing process.
Pain, Pain, Go Away – Pushing a joint to do more than it should while healing can add to your pup’s agony, so lightening the load also decreases pain.
Support Equals Stability – Along with the redistributed weight, the brace will also keep your pup more steady on their paws, which leads to less risk of new falls or accidents.
Cost/Benefit Analysis – A custom brace can cost a pretty penny, but the one-size-fits-all-dogs variety runs up to about $150. That’s not exactly small change either, but it’s certainly less than surgery or long term use of expensive medications.
Steer Clear of Surgery – In instances of mild injuries, a knee brace could clear up your pup’s problem all on its own, thereby avoiding more invasive treatment like surgery. Of course, consulting with your vet is the best way to decide about your pet’s major medical events.
When To Use A Knee Brace
Canine knee braces can be used in all sorts of situations. They can help lessen or prevent pain, protect and stabilize an injury, or keep your dog from licking a healing wound. Here are some more specific instances you may face as a pet parent where a knee brace can be an excellent solution.
ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament. It’s also sometimes called the cranial cruciate ligament, or the CCL, in case you hear your vet use either term. Unfortunately, this kind of injury in our furry friends usually calls for surgery, just like it does in human knees. However, a brace can be useful for pain relief and stabilization both before and after surgery.
This is fancy terminology for a knee cap (patella) that won’t stay put. If your pup’s patella is luxating, that means it’s moving around rather than staying in place over the joint. This seemingly small problem can turn severe with time, resulting in osteoarthritis, the need for surgery, and even the loss of use of the leg. A knee brace is more like a preventative measure in this case, as it has the potential to help the patella stay in place, though there are no guarantees it will be enough to do the trick.
Like the disease of the same name in humans, canine arthritis can create a level of pain and discomfort that debilitates your pet. The result of inflammation in the joints, this condition doesn’t respond to surgery, so your pet’s treatment plan, drawn up with the help of your veterinarian, will likely include long-term use of a brace as well as anti-inflammatory medications and even dietary and lifestyle changes.
As we mentioned in the case of luxating patellas above, sometimes a knee brace is used as a preventative measure. If you’ve noticed your once-active pup packing on the pounds with age, it may not be a bad idea to use a knee brace to prevent injuries that can occur from being overweight. Of course, it’s a solid plan to use the knee brace alongside implementing a routine that includes exercise and a healthy diet to keep you and your furry best friend feeling fine and dandy for as long as possible.
Dog Knee Brace Buying Guide
There are several factors to consider when looking for a knee brace for your Fido. Canine knee braces are relatively niche, and without crossing over into custom-made territory, you’re not going to have a super-wide range of options. Still, you’ll want to select the best brace for your furry buddy.
Canine Comfort Factor
If you were going to be wearing a knee brace for hours on end, the first thing you’d think of would be the device’s comfort. Consider the same when choosing a dog knee brace for your canine companion. The question of comfort in canine knee braces involves factors like padding and ventilation. You’ll find that manufacturers tend to trend toward one or the other, with some braces offering ample cushion for high-pressure points and others touting breathability as a bonus. In the end, it’s up to you and your pup which option provides the most comfort in your unique circumstances.
One of the primary functions of your dog’s knee brace will be to provide support and thereby greater stability. The support offered by a brace will vary by design. Some braces will hold only the joint itself and the portion of the leg closest to the joint. Other braces are designed to cover the entirety of the leg and even wrap around your pup’s back or attach to their harness for maximum structural support.
Easy Off & On
Typically, a knee brace will only be worn while your pup is out-and-about and active. That means during the bulk of the daytime hours, when they’re going about their doggy day-to-day, they’ll need the brace. At nighttime, or when your pup is resting, you’ll likely be removing the brace. That adds up to a lot of put-on and take-off for you as a pet parent, so you’ll want to be sure the brace you select isn’t too complicated or difficult for you and your pet to maneuver multiple times a day.
A knee brace needs to be made of reasonably tough stuff to stand up to your pup’s day-to-day adventures. Obviously, you’ll want to discourage your pet from chewing, scratching, or otherwise destroying their knee brace, but you also have to consider that it could happen. Plus, there’s everything your canine could encounter in the great outdoors, or even your own backyard, like stickers, sharp branches, fences, and the like. To prevent damage and keep your canine protected, consider a dog knee brace made of a staunch and sturdy material like neoprene. Regardless of the manufacturing material, be sure you feel that you’ve found a high-quality brace for your fur baby.
FAQs About Dog Knee Braces
Consulting with your vet is always your best source of information about how to care for your canine companion. Especially in the case of something so specific to the needs of your pup as a knee brace. In the meantime, Doggy Advice offers answers to some of the most commonly asked questions around dog knee braces.
Can A Knee Brace Help My Dog?
The answer to this one depends on your pup and the unique circumstances of your situation. A knee brace can certainly help provide support and stability. It can help to reduce pain. And, braces can be used as preventative measures in some cases.
Will A Dog Knee Brace Help With ACL problems?
In doggos, as in humans, a torn ACL usually requires surgery to completely resolve the problem. However, a knee brace can help both before and after in lessening the pain and offering support for your pup’s injured joint.
Will My Dog Have To Wear A Brace All The Time?
If your dog has knee problems, or you’re using the brace preventatively, as in the case of an overweight pup, your dog will likely wear their knee brace during most of their waking hours. The brace must be used to offer support during the more active parts of their day in order for the brace to be most effective. Your vet will probably advise that you take it off at night so your dog can rest comfortably.
Do I Have To See The Vet For A Knee Brace?
No, you don’t necessarily have to, but yes, you should. Technically you don’t need a prescription or some kind of go-ahead from your vet for a brace. But don’t skip the office visit just yet. If your dog is limping, has an obvious injury, or even if you’re just worried that their extra weight could result in problems, you’ll need to consult your vet. Your vet can help you choose the most appropriate brace for your pet and can even help you fit it correctly when you put it on the first time so that you and your fur baby are both comfortable using it.
How Much Does A Dog Knee Brace Cost?
The best answer to this question is that it’s entirely up to you and your budget how much you spend on your dog’s knee brace. A one-size-fits-all dog knee brace like the ones you’ll find on the shelf of your local pet store will generally run between $30 and $150. Alternatively, you can have a custom-made brace created for your canine, but the price tags tend to get much higher.
We know it stings when you witness your pup suffering, especially with painful knee or joint injuries. That’s why Doggy Advice compiled this information on how dog knee braces can help heal your canine companion. Armed with your new knowledge and a visit to the vet, you can choose the right dog knee brace to get your pup on the mend and moving again.
Scaly, dry skin, and telltale red rings are the hallmarks of the no-fun fungal infection commonly referred to as ringworm. If your dog is suffering from a bout of ringworm, you’re probably looking for canine ringworm cures to tame the outbreak. What to do when Rover has ringworm? Doggy Advice is here to help rescue your furry friend with information about what a ringworm infection is, how your doggo managed to contract it, and what you can do in terms of treatment to bring your pup relief from ringworm.
What Is Ringworm?
Interestingly, this condition isn’t caused by worms at all. In your vet’s vocab, ringworm is called dermatophytosis, so named for the pathogenic fungi called dermatophytes that cause the condition when they come into contact with skin.
The three main fungal species responsible for ringworm infections in canines are Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and trichophyton mentagrophytes. Scientific tongue-twister names aside, here’s the lowdown on these funky funguses and the effect they can have on your canine companion’s coat, claws, and skin.
Signs and Symptoms of Canine Ringworm Infection
All three of the above species of fungus are zoonotic, meaning your doggo could spread it to you if they’ve got ringworm, and vice versa, you could pass on an infection to Fido. Let’s take a look at the difference between human and canine symptoms to help you discern if your doggo has a ringworm infection.
In humans, each strain displays differently, and the symptoms may vary slightly based on where the infection is on the body. In general, human ringworm infection presents as the namesake bright red, ring-shaped lesions that are typically inflamed and itchy. The skin may even be scaly or flaky in the affected area.
By contrast, canine ringworm infections are also likely to result in scaly skin, but the similarities end there. Instead of red rings, you’re more likely to see circular patches of hair loss where the skin is dry and flaky. That’s because the fungi feed on keratin, which is found in high-supply for them in your pup’s hair, skin, and claws. With on-the-body ringworm, the fungus infects your doggo’s hair follicles, resulting in said hairless patches.
These areas may seem like bald spots with little to no redness, and the infection may not seem to bother your pup much in terms of itchiness. That’s not to say that redness and itchiness don’t occur, just that these may not be your pooch’s predominant symptoms. These patchy, bald spots can crop up on any part of a dog’s body, although they most commonly occur on the head and ears or the paws and limbs. If the infection spreads to your pet’s paws, it can even infect their claws, resulting in nail infections and brittle claws that break easily.
How or even whether you notice your dog’s ringworm infection has a lot to do with the severity of the case. If the condition is mild and your pup is an asymptomatic carrier, they may not present any signs or symptoms at all. Yet, they’ll still be able to pass on the infection to other pups and humans they come into contact with.
On the other hand, a severe case can result in painful lesions that spread all over the body. Because their immune systems aren’t as healthy, young puppies, older dogs, and immunocompromised pups could experience a more serious bout of ringworm.
Ringworm can be tricky to diagnose on your own because of the wide variety of ways in which it can present and the differences between the symptoms of a human versus a canine infection. Long story short, if you or your canine companion shows signs of a ringworm infection, it’s time for a visit to the physician and/or the vet.
How Did My Dog Get Ringworm?
Often when a ringworm infection crops up in your pup, you want to know how it happened. That way, you can avoid those same circumstances in the future and help keep Fido fungus free. Ringworm is considerably contagious, so there are a good number of options about where your pup picked it up.
When it’s not being hosted by humans or their canine counterparts, the fungus feasts on plain old dirt. Your doggo could have scooped up the spores while digging to bury a bone, romping around at the dog park, or curled up in their favorite shady spot. Outdoor exposure is one way your pup can contract ringworm, and direct contact with another infected dog or human is another.
Veterinary Centers of America warns that if your pup has recently been to a kennel, dog training group, or a groomer, these are also possible sources of infection. Obviously, you want to avoid direct contact with animals or people who have an active bout of ringworm. Still, as mentioned above, an asymptomatic carrier can share the spores without anyone realizing what’s happened.
Finally, this fungus is long-lasting on surfaces. The shedding and breaking hairs caused by the ringworm infection carry spores that can generate new infections up to 18 months later. This includes furniture, dog beds, brushes or combs, food dishes, and carpet.
The answer to this question is that your pup could’ve picked up a ringworm infection just about anywhere. Once you know that your dog has ringworm, it’s more important to focus on treatment, healing, and prevention. Let’s take a look at some treatment options and advice for keeping ringworm away.
Can I Catch Ringworm From My Dog?
Yes, as we mentioned above, the infection can pass between humans and animals. Any contact with ringworm fungus, from touching your infected furry friend to handling their bedding, puts you at risk for infection. Take extra care if you have small children, elderly people, or someone with a compromised immune system are more susceptible, and the illness may be more severe for them.
Before you toss your pup in the doghouse, it’s also good to know that contact with the fungus doesn’t necessarily result in infection every time. The amount of contamination in the environment, as well as the age and immune health of both people and pups, is an important determining factor in the severity of a ringworm infection. The good news is that healthy adults are typically resistant to ringworm unless there is a break in the skin like a scratch or a cut through which the fungus can enter.
How to Treat Canine Ringworm
If you think your furry best friend has contracted ringworm, the first step is a visit to the vet. Your vet will be able to examine your pet and do some diagnostic testing to confirm a ringworm infection. Diagnostic testing can be done through a fungal culture using skin or hair cell samples or through a fluorescence test using ultraviolet light from a doggy diagnostic device called a Wood’s Lamp.
Until you can get to the vet to find out what course of treatment they’ll suggest for your pup, here’s what the American Kennel Club offers in the case of ringworm infection, a trifecta of topical therapy, oral medications, and environmental decontamination.
Your vet will likely suggest skincare solutions since ringworm affects your doggo’s epidermis. Ringworm will actually go away on its own, but topical treatment can help clear it up a bit more quickly. Topical therapy treatments can include creams, ointments, and medicated shampoos to help your pup ditch the ringworm itch. For canines with long, luxurious fur, your vet may suggest a pup-haircut as well.
Topical treatment is a marathon, not a sprint, and you may need to keep up with whichever treatment your vet prescribes for several months. You’re in it for the long haul with topical treatments, but the bonus is that taking these measures now can help keep environmental contamination at bay.
Topical therapy and oral medications combine to form a powerhouse canine ringworm treatment. In severe cases, your vet may consider doubling these two up to clear up your pup’s infection. Oral antifungal medication helps fight the infection from within, while topical treatments tackle the fungus on the surface of the skin.
This treatment tactic is usually reserved for more serious cases since oral antifungal medications come complete with a list of less than pleasant side effects, and they tend to be quite a bit more costly than topical therapies.
Like topical treatments, it can be necessary to continue administering oral medication for a few months. The time frame depends on various factors, including the severity of the infection. A typical course of oral medication for ringworm takes a minimum of 6 weeks. Similar to antibiotic treatments, it’s essential to stay the course and administer the drug for the full amount of time prescribed by your vet. Otherwise, you risk recurrence of the ringworm in full force. Once you’ve completed the entire course of medication, your pup will typically need to receive two negative ringworm cultures before your vet declares your doggo in the clear.
Treatment plans may also be adjusted based on the number of pet companions you cohabitate with. The more fur babies you have, the greater the likelihood they’ll share the infection between them. Don’t be surprised if your vet suggests testing any pet siblings in the house, even if they haven’t shown any symptoms.
The most important thing to remember is that even as the physical symptoms subside, the spores that carry the infection can remain active. Diligence in treatment and prevention is the ticket to taking on ringworm.
Since those contagious ringworm spores can live for up to a year and a half on surfaces, it’s essential to eliminate them from your environment through decontamination. It can certainly be a challenge to try to catch every stray strand on the carpet, furniture, bedding, and grooming tools, but there are some ways to make it a bit easier to decontaminate your doggo’s environment.
If possible, quarantine your pup. If you live in a mild climate and your canine companion loves fresh air, a cozy doghouse in the backyard can keep the spores out of your space. If outdoor living isn’t an option, keep your dog in a part of your home with hard floors and free of fabric surfaces. Alternatively, if easy-clean surfaces aren’t readily available, you can vacuum carpets and furniture regularly. Also, be sure to ask your vet if they recommend a particular home disinfectant.
In addition, The Spruce Pets has these safety suggestions for stopping the spore spread.
- Empty your vacuum cleaner into an outdoor trash container to prevent the dust from getting onto other surfaces in your home.
- Medical grade gloves should be used when handling any contaminated items.
- Dispose of and replace pet-specific rugs, carpets, bedding, and toys. If you really don’t want to get rid of it, you can consider washing bedding and toys in a bleach solution.
- Use soap and water to disinfect surfaces and follow up with a diluted bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
Canine Ringworm Prevention
Until your pup has had a ringworm infection, there’s no need to keep them confined in the house for fear of contracting a fungus. Since it lives in the soil, and there’s no way you’re gonna keep your pup from putting their paws in the grass and dirt, there’s no way to be totally sure your doggo will never encounter ringworm. In the meantime, keep up with good hygiene and grooming habits, wash pet bedding in hot water, and keep carpets vacuumed for the best shot to beat ringworm before it happens.
Once your pup has had an infection, prevention is the name of the game. You’ll want to stop the spread of the spores through the treatment means above, plus you’ll want to be conscious of not putting your pup in close contact with other canine or human companions for a while. That means forestalling Fido’s trips to the dog park and any other out-and-about locations you ordinarily enjoy. Remember that while these measures may seem restrictive, it’s not forever, and you and your pup can take the opportunity to rest easy at home a while until your vet clears your doggo as contagion free.