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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
what are all of your general care and health choices for your dear dogs? your tricks and heath care tips you feel work well? Your secrets that work for your dog?

mine are

1) GOOD quality food
2) clean fresh water
3) plain yogurt
4) high quality shampoos and skin care products
5) annual vaccinations and heartworm pills year round.
6) I do a full blood check up on all my dogs at 5 years old
7) clean teeth! i always make sure they are clean, haven't had to get a dental at the vet on them yet but i will if they need it
8) exercise and play
9) dog chews - large raw hides and the meaty dried bones ( keep the teeth clean)
10) no dog treats!? they get a "treat" but i do not give my dogs treats like many people do in the form of special purchased package treats. They get their chew bones and a can of their food brand as a special treat once in awhile ( after a vet visit or something). and veggies if they do get a treat. ( they love veggies! ) and maybe 2 times a year a plain burger from mcdonalds ( totally makes no sense with the rest of their diet plan i know lol! )

I like to control what my dogs take in their bodies because to me those nutrients build their systems up or can take the system down. just like with people a good diet makes a huge difference! and EVERYONE comments about how shinny and healthy my dogs coats are and ask me the trick. and 2 of my dogs had SEVERE skin allergies before i Adopted them and now they rarely get a mild flare up.
 

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erm . . . While I do feed my dog high quality food and bottled spring water* and use leftover meat and veggies for treats, I do not vaccinate yearly, nor do I use heartworm meds year round.

First of all, it's unnecessary to vaxx yearly. Most of the vaxxes last a lifetime. For example, what's the difference between a 1 year rabies vaxx and a 3 year rabies vaxx? Chemically, nothing. The manufacturer decided to test the 1 year vaxx for 3 years, it worked, so they sell a 3 year variety. The truth is, most vaxxes last at least 10-15 years, i.e., the lifetime of the average American dog.

Secondly, in a climate like Chicago and Northeastern PA, it is completely unnecessary to treat for heartworms year round. Heartworms are only a problem when misquitoes are present. Misquitoes aren't present in PA from October to May. Even when misquitoes are present, the heartworms won't grow unless you get 2 solid weeks when the temperature gets above 80F every day and never falls below 57F. In PA, that's usually June through September.

There are heartworm maps where you can find reported incidences of heartworm in your area. In mine, there are, on average, 5 reported cases a year. Mind you, that's just where the vet was who reported it, not where the dog was infected. A good many people in the Northeast own rescues transported from shelters in the South. All 5 of those dogs could have been infected in the South, then transported up north and diagnosed.

Anyway, this is all with the blessing of my vet, and from the experiences of my mother and grandfather, who did the same and never had a dog with rabies or heartworm.


*I'm not totally crazy. Even I can smell the chlorine in the tap water, I wouldn't expect a dog to drink it.
 

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I do heartworm prevention and yearly vaccines... I have to do kennel cough and rabies yearly, kennel cough because the park officials will ask for vaccine records and bordatella must be UTD... Rabies because it's illegal not to do it yearly. And I also get Parvo/distemper yearly after seeing my mom's dog die from parvo. Sorry but I'm just not risking these things with my dog.
 

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erm . . . While I do feed my dog high quality food and bottled spring water* and use leftover meat and veggies for treats, I do not vaccinate yearly, nor do I use heartworm meds year round.

First of all, it's unnecessary to vaxx yearly. Most of the vaxxes last a lifetime. For example, what's the difference between a 1 year rabies vaxx and a 3 year rabies vaxx? Chemically, nothing. The manufacturer decided to test the 1 year vaxx for 3 years, it worked, so they sell a 3 year variety. The truth is, most vaxxes last at least 10-15 years, i.e., the lifetime of the average American dog.

Secondly, in a climate like Chicago and Northeastern PA, it is completely unnecessary to treat for heartworms year round. Heartworms are only a problem when misquitoes are present. Misquitoes aren't present in PA from October to May. Even when misquitoes are present, the heartworms won't grow unless you get 2 solid weeks when the temperature gets above 80F every day and never falls below 57F. In PA, that's usually June through September.

There are heartworm maps where you can find reported incidences of heartworm in your area. In mine, there are, on average, 5 reported cases a year. Mind you, that's just where the vet was who reported it, not where the dog was infected. A good many people in the Northeast own rescues transported from shelters in the South. All 5 of those dogs could have been infected in the South, then transported up north and diagnosed.

Anyway, this is all with the blessing of my vet, and from the experiences of my mother and grandfather, who did the same and never had a dog with rabies or heartworm.


*I'm not totally crazy. Even I can smell the chlorine in the tap water, I wouldn't expect a dog to drink it.
I live in the south and am so envious of that weather. We actually just bought a baby pool for the dogs and literally dump it every day because over night it becomes mosquito infested. I am going to cringe at my water bill at the end of the summer.

I have to stay up on all vax just because my guys get kenneled a few times a year and also I foster and even though they all UTD before they enter my house, I prefer not to take the chance.

My dogs get good quality food, fresh water daily (I have a filtered bowl but only one will go near it), regular exercise, fish oil, monthly baths (unless otherwise needed), nail clippings and ear cleanings and they do get bones to help keep their teeth cleaned. So far no major problems that I could have prevented.
 

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good quality food (and by this i mean what works for my dogs), flax/olive oil/yogurt/egg on nite-time feeding, raw meaty bone once a wk for teeth, clean water, regular exercise, i DON'T vax yrly--they get their puppy series/rabies then their booster at 1 yr and the 3 yr rabies yrly after that only b/c they have to by law (in case they bit someone [yeah, right] they're safe), i don't heartworm yr round and actually they only get it every 6 wks instead of monthly from June-Oct, and Advantix when i know we're going to be in a heavily infested area, regular grooming and bathes as needed only......have hardly ever had mine into the vet
 

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1) %100 complete, balanced raw diet, with plenty of RMB's to clean the teeth naturally, raw eggs and oily fish included for the skin/coat, etc
2) Natural treats, either homemade or leftovers, or random stuff from the fridge - no commercial dog treats (I use plain goat yogurt, goat cheese, fruit and vegetables, etc) Only commercial packaged treat I use are bully sticks.
3) I do not vaccinate or de-worm (they've both gotten puppy boosters and that is it, but both have been declined of Bordatella and Rabies vaccines - just don't agree with them, Bordatella vaccine covers only 1 of the many, many strains, and I"ve seen plenty of dogs get kennel cough even with the vaccine so its pointless(lots of kennels here recommend NOT getting bordatella vaccines), rabies I avoid because of many health issues and negative side affects, including tumors, i've heard/read being reported.. also, climates here do not allow viruses like these to thrive as much so they are not required/necessary).
4) Avoid vets at all costs, thankfully I never have a reason to take them.
5) Filtered water, and rain water to drink
6) Avoid bathing (bath maybe once a year tops during heavy shedding, and I use natural/organic shampoo as well when I do bathe, and rain water if I can)
7) Regular exercise, discipline and affection
8) Hmm..that's about it for now
 

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1-high quaility food, if not raw at the very least supplimented with raw
2-limited to no vaccines-parvo/disemper as puppies, and anything else, if ever, based on the dog in question.
3-proper grooming
4-fresh air and exersize.
 

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1:High quality food and fresh organic treats (veggies,certain fruit)
2:High quality grooming products (shampoo/conditioners/Argan oil)
3:Flea and tick meds every 3 weeks
4:Up to date with shots (obligatory here)
5:Exersize (walks on the beach etc)
6:Bottled spring water
7:Affection and disclipline (as you would with kids lol)
 

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1. I feed as much variety as I can manage in her diet. Usually that means rotating the protein source of her kibble between chicken, turkey, duck, beef, bison, lamb, pork, rabbit, venison and fish. I also try to make sure she gets something "real" for dinner most nights, be it canned food or raw meat, fish or eggs.
2. I pay as close attention to dental health as possible. Right now I'm brushing daily and when I move in with my dad I'm going to start offering raw meaty bones. I personally don't know any 5 year old dogs with teeth as nice as hers.
3. I also pay close attention to her nails, as she came to me with them severely overgrown. She gets dremeled every couple of days and every day for a while if I ever let it slide a bit.
4. She gets heartworm meds during the months when they are a threat in my area and she is tested every year or so.
5. She gets vaccinated for rabies once every 3 years because it's the law, but more because it offers her some protection should she ever bite someone. Everything else I give on an as-needed basis.
6. This is admittedly the last thing I usually worry about because she is not a high energy dog, but I offer her adequate exercise in the form of indoor fetch/tug and primarily nighttime walks due to her reactivity. To me it's more important that she gets the mental stimulation of play and going different places frequently than it is that she get massive amounts of exercise.
7. I guess the last bit would be regular training and affection, though I'm not as good at the former as I would like. But still we've made socialization progress that is good for her.
 

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1. Prey model raw diet and single ingredient treats (read dehydrated meat)
2. Lots of exercise and trying to always find new mental challenges
3. Daily training
4. Weekly grooming
5. Early and continuing socialization
6. Preventative training - ie. teach the dog what you want it to do in specific situations before a problem or bad habit arises.
7. Minimal and as needed vaccinations/medications - we use monthly flea meds but no heartworm or tick preventatives because of the lack of the threat of these in our area
8. Know thy dog - know what is normal for them and what is not normal with everything from behavior, eating habits to poop color
9. Listen to your dog - listen when your dog is telling you it's nervous, stressed, afraid etc. A relaxed and calm dog is a healthier dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
When i lived in Minnesota i did HW pills till nov. and started them in the spring. but if you live in chicago area you know that it is not always cold in the winter lately. this last winter was super mild. we have had tornado's touch down more then once in the last few years in the dead of winter. many times lately those pesky bugs never die off. Lately the 40s and 50s are a common temp in the area. I am looking into the claims of doing less DHPP vaccines also, the issue is i can't board without them. also We had someone who left off giving their pug DHPP and it picked up a bad case of parvo in its small fenced in backyard but that could have happened even on a vaccine because they are only 75% effective roughly. so its hard to know. I know that it doesn't seem to hurt the dogs to do the vaccinations according to studies and I feel safe personally.

I forgot to add one onto my list.

I always get my dogs fixed. With male dogs I wait till they are about 2 cause their body forms more naturally. Females about 1 year old.
This year has been so bad with female cancer and pyometra. and male dogs getting cancer in the testicles. The statistics are rather high for these problems, higher then I even thought seeing it constantly. so i always fix my dogs!
 
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