Forever Homes and Considerations for Dogs

It is very important that you learn about the dog breed that you are considering joining your family. Buy dog books or go to the library and read about the background of the specific dog breed you are considering. Check online as there are many reliable sources to learn about the temperament, size, care, exercise needs.

Some other important characteristics for consideration will include whether or not the dog sheds, optimal brushing, and ear care requirements. It is important to know things like floppy ear dogs require additional ear care as there is a lack of air flow to the inner ear which causes more frequent ear infections.

Some people take a garden hose to their dog or wash them once a year if that. I do not believe that this is sufficient. Dogs may not always like the part about getting in the tub or the actual bath process but they all love to be clean. Our dogs, after they have been bathed, will go back to the bathroom a number of times and look down at the bathtub as if to say. “Ha, I conquered you”. At least once per month is ideal for us with our current dogs. We had a golden retriever that had many allergies including skin irritations. He could not go long without a bath before he started itching. We needed to bath him almost every two weeks.

It is best to know whether a dog will fit your particular lifestyle before they join your family. Discarding dogs after the fact can cause irreparable harm to an innocent. Animals are important members of our families and should be treated as such. They are innocents and dependents. We need to exercise them, teach them, love them, and care for them with patience for their entire lives. We can learn so much from our furry friends, and they from us.

It is very important to determine if you are up to all the work that is required to properly care for the breed of dog that you are considering as an addition to your family.

It is also very important to consider the emotional attachment and investment when we add a dog to our households. Generally speaking, we are expected to outlive our dogs and the emotional responsibility of a sick or old dog at the end of their lives is an extremely emotional time. The responsibility will fall to us.

Dogs bond strongly with their owners/guardians. If given away or sheltered they will likely develop depression and possibly anxiety issues. It is best if you are considering acquiring a dog that you know you will be there for them for their entire lives and that they will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

Frank

Homemade Dog Earwash

We have a wonderful Golden Retriever named Shalmar.  He is goofy and loving and allergic to EVERYTHING including Antihistamines.  Shalmar had constant ear infections that were secondary infections caused by his allergies and, apparently, yeast infections.  This meant that Antibiotics would not work for him so we tried Antihistamines as recommended by our vet.

Shalmar began to gain weight and sleep a lot.  Within a few weeks, he couldn’t hold his bladder for more than a couple of hours.  He was deteriorating quickly.  His ears did clear up for a short time but this was obviously not a viable option.  We could not just leave him with the constant pain of an ear infection so we started to look for alternatives.

We first found a fruit based Ear Wash only available in the US.  It worked fairly well for him when we rinsed his ears twice a week.  I kept looking and experimenting.  Finally finding a recipe for a Homemade Ear Wash that are inexpensive and easy to make.  A trip to the pharmacy to get Boric Acid (a powder) and Rubbing Alcohol, and Apple Cider Vinegar from the grocery store, add a squeeze bottle and you have all you need to make a very effective product to keep your dogs ears in great shape.  Shalmar hasn’t had any problems since we started using one of these ear washes every week.  Now for the recipes:

½ cup Rubbing Alcohol
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsps. Boric Acid

or

1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
2 tbsps. Boric Acid

Mix very well and put in the squeeze bottle.  Squirt into each ear once or twice a week as needed, and massage the ear well before the dog shakes it out.

This recipe also works for drying dogs’ ears after they get wet, and works for most other ear infections we’ve come across.  We use it for all of our dogs after every bath as a general maintenance and drying rinse, as well as, when we see a lot of ear scratching going on.

The best way to tell if your dog has an ear infection is to inspect the ear and if it is red and inflamed and/or has a dark discharge or flakes, then there is an infection present.

Good luck and I hope that this works as well for your dogs as it has for ours.

Tracey