Human Health Irritations Due to Pets

Some people are unfortunate because they have allergies to dogs and will never be able to enjoy the love, devotion, and companionship a human receives from a pet dog.

The symptoms of dog allergies are very similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies or the symptoms of a cold. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 15 to 30 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to dogs and cats. Dog allergies are not as commonplace as cat allergies, but the dander that causes the allergy tends to be more widespread. A human with a dog allergy may be allergic only to specific breeds or may be affected by all breeds.

The most common allergic reaction to dogs experienced by humans is caused by dog dander and not dog hair. A dog’s dander consists of dead skin cells that contain allergens. When a dog sheds hair, it often sheds dander along with it. Since a dog’s fur has nothing to do with allergies, adopting a dog with short hair doesn’t help prevent dog dander allergy.

Some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies include coughing, sneezing itchy eyes and skin, skin rashes, runny eyes, stuffed up nose, and difficulty in breathing.

If your allergic reactions are caused by dogs, you probably will want to avoid being around dogs, but if you already have a pet you can get allergy shots for immunization. Allergens will be injected in your system once each month with the goal of making you less allergic to dogs The injections take place over a period of 6 to 9 months. Your allergic reactions won’t disappear, but they will be noticeably reduced.

Antihistamines and corticosteroids are short-term solutions and may also have side effects. If the allergy makes you itchy you can try applying topical ointments that contain steroids.

Symptoms of dog allergies can be reduced by bathing your dog regularly to reduce the amount of dander shed in your house. You can also clean your dog’s skin with a moist sponge each day.

Some hints on lowering the incidence of allergies to dogs include grooming your dog daily, using air cleaners or filters, not allowing your dog to sit on your bed or sofa, clean your home and vacuum all the corners where dander can collect, and using allergy reducing sprays on your pet.

Some people believe there are hypoallergenic dogs they could adopt without suffering from dog allergies. The truth is that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist; all dogs shed dander. It is true that some breeds don’t shed as much dander as others, but a dog that cannot cause allergies has never existed.

Removing Ticks From Dogs

Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease.

The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods where ticks have a lot of vegetation to crawl around on.

Removing a tick is not difficult but can be very upsetting to some dogs. To safely remove a tick from your dog’s skin, soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and hold it against the tick for about 30 seconds. Using tweezers to squeeze the dog’s skin surrounding the tick, grab the tick’s head between the tweezers, carefully pulling it out, making sure to remove its entire body.

Next swab the area with rubbing alcohol, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing all the ticks.

When removing a tick it’s important that you don’t twist or pull too hard on it as you may break the tick’s body, leaving part of it still attached to your dog’s skin. If a tick is not removed completely or correctly, it can leave your dog vulnerable to a number of diseases.

Another method of safely removing a tick from your dog is to rub the tick in a circular motion. Ticks do not like this movement and will oftentimes crawl out on their own, permitting you to easily remove them.

Be sure that you do not make any of these common mistakes when removing a tick from your dog:
(1) crushing the tick, as crushing it will allow its blood to enter your dog’s blood stream, and it may be carrying debilitating diseases;

(2) attempting to remove the tick with your fingers. This not only makes it too easy to crush the tick, but also exposes you to any potential diseases the tick may be carrying.

Ticks are nasty little creatures that neither you or your dog want to see. Learning how to properly remove them will help ensure your dog’s health and prevent the transmission of deadly diseases.

 

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments


It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

How to Check for Ticks

Ticks are a threat that no one wants to find on their dog. Ticks can transmit diseases and even cause anemia or paralysis in your pet. As a dog owner, there are some basic facts you should know about the risks, prevention and removal of ticks. You can learn how to check for ticks and protect your pet from this annoying problem.

Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted to warmth and motion, often seeking out mammals like dogs. Ticks tend to hide out in tall grass or plants in wooded areas. If your dog enjoys romping around in areas like this, its chances of contracting a tick infection is greatly increased.

Once a dog comes in contact with the tick, it climbs on and attaches its mouthparts into the skin and begins sucking on the dog’s blood. Once locked in place, the tick will not detach until its meal is complete. It may continue to feed for several hours to several days, depending on the type of tick. On dogs, ticks often attach themselves in crevices or areas with little to no hair – typically in and around the ears, areas where the insides of the legs meet the body, between the toes, and in skin folds.

Most species of ticks go through four life stages – eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. All stages beyond the egg stage will attach to a dog for a blood meal. The life span of a tick can be several months to years, and female adult ticks can lay hundreds to thousands of eggs at one time.

The following ticks are among the most common types in the U.S. –
* Deer tick
* Brown dog tick
* Lone star tick
* American dog tick

The Dangers of Ticks
Not all ticks transmit disease – in fact, many ticks don’t carry any diseases. However, the threat of disease is always possible where ticks are concerned, and these risks should always be taken seriously. Most tick-borne diseases will take several hours to transmit to a dog, so the sooner a tick is located and removed, the lower the risk of disease.

The symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy, though some can also cause weakness, lameness, joint swelling and anemia. These signs can take days, weeks or sometimes as long as months to materialize. Some ticks can cause a temporary condition called “tick paralysis,” which is exhibited by a gradual onset of your dog having difficulty walking that may develop into paralysis.

If you notice any signs of illness in your dog after exposure to wooded areas or after removal of visible ticks, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for testing and treatments.

Some of the most common tick-borne diseases are:
* Lyme disease
* Anaplasmosis
* Babesiosis
* Ehrlichiosis
* Rocky Mountain spotted fever

How to Check for Ticks on Your Dog
To search for ticks, run your hands all over its body, paying close attention to the ears, neck, skin folds and other crevices. Closely examine any raised areas by parting the hair. Depending on species and life stage, a tick may be as small as a pencil point or as large as a lima bean when engorged with the blood of your dog. If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, or your dog spends a lot of time in high grasses or wooded areas, you should check for ticks once or twice a day.

Here is the proper way to remove ticks:
1. Wear latex gloves to protect yourself. Use a pair of tweezers or a specially-designed tick removal tool to grasp the tick where it has attached itself to your dog’s body.

2. Be very careful not to squeeze the body of the tick when trying to remove it. This could cause bacteria to be injected into the bite area.

3. Pull the tick straight out from the skin slowly and steadily. Try not to twist or turn the tweezers or tool. Some of your dog’s skin may come off with the tick, but this is normal. If there is bleeding from the skin just apply slight pressure to the area.

4. If part of the tick’s head still appears to be embedded in your dog’s skin, use the tweezers to gently pull it out. If all of the head can’t be removed at this time it should eventually fall off. Complications from tick’s heads not being removed are rare, as the tick is dead and obviously can no longer feed on your dog.

5. After removing all the ticks you can find, clean your dog’s skin at the bite areas using Pet Solutions Rx. This is an all-natural, non-toxic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal agent that promotes rapid healing. It’s an all-inclusive “first aid” in a bottle that reduces bleeding of minor wounds, decreases pain, swelling and itching.

It is important to know that there are no shortcuts to make a tick release itself from its host – a tick will not voluntarily detach until its meal is complete. DO NOT apply hot matches, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol or other chemicals to the site. These methods are not effective and can be harmful to your dog.

Learning how to check for ticks and how to rid your dog of them plays an important role in your dog’s health.

 

Why Dogs Shed Hair

All dogs shed hair, some breeds more than others. Indoor dogs who shed a lot of hair can fill your house with loose hair and you end up having to frequently vacuum and pick up loose dog hair all the time.

Here are some grooming techniques to help reduce the amount of loose hair and also keep your dog cleaner and healthier.

Frequent grooming and brushing your dog will help soften any coarse hair and reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds. Try to brush your dog every day for 5-10 minutes. Getting suitable supplies for the type of hair your dog has will make it easier to brush it and helps improve the condition of the hair. There are several types of brushes and most dogs will need more than one type of brush. Combs are great for dog breeds with shorter hair.

Dogs shed hair all year round but especially so during the shedding seasons, usually spring and fall. You should bathe your dog at least once a week to reduce the amount of hair it sheds. Buy shampoos that won’t irritate your dog’s skin because they can cause additional hair shedding.

Brush your dog’s coat going from its tail to its head. At lot of dog owners brush from the head to the tail but brushing from tail to head results in a more thorough removal of dead hair.

A Shedding Blade available from the pet store can be used to more effectively remove hair and other debris from your dog’s coat. You may find that using a shedding blade is more effective than either a dog brush or comb.

If the weather outside is comfortable for you and your dog, grooming it outdoors will save you a lot of effort when it’s time to clean up the hair shed in your house.

Sometimes modifying the dog’s diet will reduce its shedding. Feed your dog a diet with sufficient nutrients and fatty acids. You can also buy supplements and liquid formulas at most pet stores to prevent excessive shedding.

Dogs shed hair on a daily basis and it is common to all dogs, especially dogs with longer coats.

If you care for your dog using the techniques described above, you’ll not only have an easier time with shedding hair, but you’ll also have a beautifully groomed dog that is a pleasure to hug and cuddle with.

Removing Pet Odors From Your House

Removing pet odors from your house can be easy and you’ll create a healthy environment for you and your family or guests. The key to removing these odors is to first remove the source if you expect the smell to completely disappear and not have it return shortly after you’ve cleaned.

If you have a pet dog (or maybe two) you know exactly what it’s like to live with gobs of hair, a sofa and chairs that smell strange, and the ever so popular urine on your rugs and carpets.

Living with your pet day in and day out, it’s easy to get used to these odors and not even notice that sometimes your house smells like a kennel.

The first thing you’ll need to do is give your dog a bath on a regular basis. This will depend on factors like how long your dog’s coat is, whether it’s strictly an inside dog or whether it always runs around your yard, and whether you let your dog roll about in the dirt or whatever it feels like romping around in. If a dog is dirty it will spread mud or filth all over your house.

You’ll also need to be vigilant in removing excess hair from your dog and not wait until it’s all over your furniture.

Once a week remove any dog hair from your furniture using a standard vacuum cleaner with the side attachment. Just vacuum the furniture until all the hair is gone. You can also use a lint roller to pick up the loose hair.

Your floors should be cleaned at least once a week. Rugs and carpets vacuumed, and wood or tile floors swept clean before mopping. On tile or linoleum floors you can use bleach to be sure all the bacteria is killed.

Replace the air conditioning and furnace filters once a month. Loose dog hair tends to stick to filters.

Disinfecting hard surfaces that your dog comes in daily contact with will help remove any lingering odors, and by using a sanitizer you can kill more than 99% of all germs, including cold and flu viruses that may be clinging to surfaces in your home.

Standard spray air fresheners will only mask the scents in your house and you’ll end up with a dog that smells like a pet covered with flowers. Buy a spray that removes odors instead of covering them up.

You’re going to need a pet stain and odor remover if you want to get rid of all urine odors. An inexpensive and just as effective method for removing these odors is to spray the urine stained areas with a mixture of half vinegar and half water.

You should wash your pet’s bedding at least two times a month, then spray it for a fresh, clean scent.

Removing pet odors from your house doesn’t need to be a time consuming chore that you hate to face every week. Just follow the instructions above and soon your house will be free of unpleasant dog odors.

Health Care For Older Dogs


Proper health care for an older dog requires more attention from an owner than when it was a puppy or young adult dog.

It is important to know when your pet is a “senior citizen” so you can make appropriate changes in its diet and exercise to ensure a longer, healthy life. As a general rule of thumb, dogs are considered senior around seven years of age.

A quick look around your favorite pet store will reveal most dry packaged dog foods carry the inscription “For senior dogs 7 years or older”. As a general rule, larger dogs are considered to be seniors around five or six, and smaller dogs around nine years. There is such a large variety of dog breeds and sizes that there is no single age that automatically designates senior status.

Most dog owners feel their dogs do not live long enough. A recent survey of more than 1,000 people showed that one third of Americans who own a pet dog have no idea when their dog is a senior dog. And with 71 million pet-owning households in the United States, this translates to millions of dog owners that don’t know how to provide the best care for their dog’s senior years.

One of the most common misconceptions among dog owners is that pets and their owners age differently. While the rate at which dogs age is different than humans, the changes that take place with advancing age are very similar. Both pets and humans either gain or lose weight, develop arthritic joints, encounter problems with their heart, and often experience dental problems.

Another misconception that seems to be common among almost all dog owners is if a dog is overweight it isn’t a major health concern. While obesity should be a major health concern for dog owners, sudden weight loss is also a serious health worry. Diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, and diabetes can cause weight loss and you need to schedule a visit to your veterinarian if your dog has a sudden weight loss.

The usual symptoms of obesity can be managed with proper diet and exercise. Winston’s Digest All can aid your dog in losing weight if it is overweight or obese. Aching joints and lack of energy can also be managed successfully with natural supplements like Winston’s Joint System formula. This highly recommended product has helped thousands of dogs who were suffering from debilitating joint diseases such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

One of the most popular misconceptions now found on the internet is that exercise and dog toys that entertain and engage a dog’s senses are the best ways to prevent cognitive decline. The reality is that cognitive decline, or geriatric dementia, although most often associated with older humans, also affects older dogs who are prone to age-related dementia also. Dementia in older dogs usually becomes evident with inappropriate acts like barking in the middle of the night, urinary accidents in house-trained dogs, or becoming disoriented in his familiar home, and a lessening of interaction with family members. Dementia, which exhibits itself as a general disorientation, usually causes stress, anxiety, and fear, both in the dog and its human owner.

Some common age-related changes to watch for as your pet dog ages: He or she becomes less active, sleeps more, often develops a reduced sense of hearing and sight, is less able to handle temperature changes, and loses muscle mass. These changes may be symptoms of a disease, so be aware of any sudden weight loss or gain, sudden loss of appetite, lethargy, increased thirst or urinating more than usual.

When your dog reaches the start of his senior years, he will need your loving care more than ever. This is the perfect time to start your dog on Winston’s Senior Complete Multi vitamin supplement. This is the most powerful and complete once-daily multi vitamin for dogs 5 years and older. It contains almost 50 active ingredients from the healthiest sources available.

Maintaining good health care for your older dog is is the best way to repay your aging dog for the loyalty and pleasure it has given you for so many years. Show him or her that you love them as much as they have loved you. Spend time petting and just being with them. You may be surprised at the calming effect it produces in both of you.