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What is Chiropractic Care for Dogs?

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    What is Chiropractic Care?

    Photo Credit: Ontario Chiropractic Association

    Chiropractic care therapy for dogs is an alternative treatment that has received considerable support in traditional medicine during the last few decades. Chiropractic refers to the technique of manipulating the spine to heal disease and is derived from the Greek terms “cheir” which means “hand” and “praxis” which means “practice” or “done by.” The links between numerous bodily components and the nervous system via the spinal column, as well as the function of the spine in biomechanics and movement, are central to chiropractors’ illness hypotheses. The spine is targeted for treatment in an attempt to slow the course of the illness.  

    Veterinary practitioners are now investigating the therapeutic potential of this way of manipulating and placing the spinal column in the treatment of a variety of illnesses. Chiropractic therapy is often reserved for post-surgery care and to supplement other treatment options for a variety of ailments and disorders.

    How Does Chiropractic Care Work?

    Chiropractic treatment for dogs consists of spinal manipulation or manual therapy to correct misaligned vertebrae in the spine (also known as vertebral subluxations) and alleviate pressure on the nerve tissue around them. As a result, pain is reduced and the body is given the opportunity to heal naturally.

    For animals with spinal anomalies or biomechanical musculoskeletal disorders, chiropractic is often utilized as a complement to conventional therapies. These injuries and disorders may quickly deteriorate your pet’s health, restricting movement, posture, and flexibility, as well as impacting other muscles and joints.

    What Does Chiropractic Care Treat in Dogs?

    Photo Credit: Pet Medical Center

    Chiropractic manipulation can aid in the treatment of neurologic and biomechanical disorders.  These conditions include degenerative joint diseases like hip dysplasia and spondylosis, cervical instability, acute neck pain, intervertebral disk disease, autonomic nervous system issues like urinary and fecal incontinence, musculoskeletal weakness, or pain that defies conventional diagnosis and treatment, and chronic back and neck pain. It may also be used to prevent disease, maintain fitness or improve performance.

    Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

    While seeing a canine chiropractor for your pet’s back condition might be beneficial, there are certain hazards that owners should be aware of. The first is that there is continuous disagreement in the medical world over whether chiropractic therapy is genuinely beneficial; while the technique has grown in popularity in recent decades, some business owners may prefer to use more traditional approaches. Second, there’s a chance that chiropractic manipulation of the spine will worsen rather than alleviate an issue. As a result, it is critical that business owners conduct thorough research before selecting a chiropractor to ensure that the one they select will provide the highest quality care.

    Is Chiropractic Care Effective?

    While there is considerable controversy about the validity of chiropractic therapy as a medical treatment in both humans and animals, there is a substantial amount of research to back up proponents’ assertions that it is an effective technique to treat spinal disorders. It’s also worth remembering that the treatment is typically delivered in the form of long-term therapy delivered over a number of sessions, so although some patients may see instant results, others may need more time. Treatment of the disease or injury with analgesics or conventional physiotherapy are two alternatives to chiropractic therapy.

    What Happens During a Chiropractic Session?

    When a dog is taken to a chiropractic clinic or rehab facility, the chirpporactor will usually ask the owner about the dog’s health and history. They will usually asking more questions about the dog’s lifestytyle and any other problems the dog is presenting. Then, the dog will be treated a chiropractic adjustment using direct pressure. This usually lasts about 15-30 minutes.

    How to Find a Canine Chiropractor?

    You usually need a referral from your primary veterinarian to a chiropractor. In order to comprehend the biomechanics and neuromusculoskeletal function differences between humans and animals, chiropractors who work with animals must be well-versed in both chiropractic theory and animal anatomy. In North America, a certification process exists to ensure that practitioners have the appropriate knowledge and experience to treat animals.The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association is responsible for this certification, and its members are classified as “Animal Chiropractor,” “Veterinarian Certified in Animal Chiropractic,” or “Veterinary Chiropractor,” depending on their level of training. Certified Animal Chiropractors may be allowed to administer treatments without supervision in some North American jurisdictions; in other jurisdictions, chiropractors must be supervised by licensed veterinarians.

    How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost for Dogs?

    The cost of chiropractic therapy varies greatly based on where you live and the age, health, and behavioral disposition of the dog in question. The majority of owners, however, may expect to pay between $50 and $200 per session for chiropractic therapy. This is similar to traditional physiotherapy, albeit some types of physiotherapy might be significantly more expensive if specialist equipment is necessary.

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    Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs

    cbd for natural joint pain relief
    Overview
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      Joint pain affects many dogs, especially as they become older and become more prone to developing arthritis and other joint conditions, to which we are often searching for natural remedies for joint pain in dogs. The lack of proper cushioning in the joints causes your dog’s bones to rub against each other causing great discomfort and pain. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis in canines. However, there are a number of natural remedies for joint pain  in dogs that can help manage the condition. 

      What Are Some Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs?

      Glucosamine

      Photo Credit: NaturVet

      Glucosamine is the most common type of supplement for natural joint pain relief in dogs. It’s a naturally occurring compound in both human and animal’s bodies but the supplement helps keep up with cartilage health. It reduces pain and stiffness in arthritic joints by reducing inflammation, inhibiting cartilage loss, and improving cartilage repair making it one of the most popular natural remedies for joint pain in dogs.

      Hydrotherapy

      pug swimming in a pool
      Photo Credit: Petguide.com

      Hydrotherapy is defined as “the use of exercises in a pool as part of treatment for conditions such as arthritis or partial paralysis.” Hydrotherapy with underwater treadmill work essentially allows for rehabilitation and exercise by taking the weight off of the compromised joints and allowing movement that would otherwise be painful or impossible. The viscosity of the water actually increases the work that the muscles are doing at the same time. There are three main types of hydrotherapy for dogs:

      1. Pool-based: During a pool-based hydrotherapy session, a dog is placed in a life jacket with a handle on top for the therapist. The therapist supports the dog in the water and allows them to swim while holding them up. Depending on the strength of the dog, they may also let it swim on its own. This can be done in a regular pool or a specially designed hydrotherapy tub.
      2. Underwater Treadmill: In essence, there is a treadmill belt that can be adjusted in a tiny tank of water filled with warm water. The therapist walks alongside the dog on the treadmill or may be harnessed in. This type of hydrotherapy can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each dog.
      3. Whirlpool Therapy: Whirlpool treatment is similar to a jacuzzi for dogs, and it helps to ease pain caused by medical conditions or surgery. The water level is altered once the dogs are harnessed and lowered into the whirlpool. The damaged muscles are then massaged with a heated jet stream. 

      Acupuncture

      beagle with acupuncture needles
      Photo Credit: Fear Free Happy Homes

      In acupuncture, needles are inserted through bundles of nerves into the body tissue, where blood vessels converge. Acupuncture improves blood circulation to the nervous system by stimulating and releasing anti-inflammatory and analgesic hormones making it an ideal natural remedy for joint pain relief in dogs. Applying pressure to the acupuncture point at the selected effect is comparable to inserting needles.

      The technique requires inserting a fine needle into the dog’s body at certain points, called acupuncture points, where nerves and blood vessels converge. These points are located at so-called meridians, where energy channels transmit energy throughout the dog’s body.

      CBD

      cbd for natural joint pain relief
      Photo Credit: Health Magazine

      Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical molecule present in both humans and animals that is part of the endocannabinoid system. Non-psychoactive cannabinoid produced from cannabis or hemp. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives you a “high,” while CBD doesn’t. In order to not have THC, CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana. The majority of CBD products do not contain THC and if they do, they are purchased from a cannabis dispensary. 

      Some research and anecdotal data suggest that CBD may be useful in treating joint pain, making it an intriguing natural remedy for joint pain in dogs. CBD for dogs started out as simple oils but with the market expanding, there are many different types of CBD products available. Some of these include CBD treats, CBD-infused broth, and so much more. 

      Turmeric

      jack russel sitting behind a plate of tumeric
      Photo Credit: Organic Facts

      Turmeric is widely known as a spice rich in antioxidants. The active ingredient, curcumin, possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It’s believed to work more effectively for joint pain and stiffness than conventional pain medications. In addition, turmeric has  less gastrointestinal side effects than other pain medications, making it a great natural remedy for joint pain in dogs. Turmeric can be found in various forms including powder, liquid, capsules, and chewable tablets. 

      Laser Therapy

      dog getting laser therapy
      Photo Credit: Pawsh Place

      Laser therapy is a non-invasive photobiomodulation therapy to help in the rehabilitation of different conditions. Laser therapy uses light as a way to increase blood circulation and stimulate cell regeneration. It’s been used on humans for decades but laser therapy has been used on dogs in recent years. It essentially promotes healing while reducing inflammation and pain. There’s two types of laser therapy:

      1. Cold Laser Therapy: treats the surface of the skin
      2. Hot Laser Therapy: treats deeper tissues

      When it comes to how many treatments a dog needs, this is dependent on the type of laser as well as the condition or diseases and whether it’s chronic or acute. The average amount of treatments is about two to three times a week for two to three weeks and then this reduces depending on the outcome. Conditions that are both acute and painful likely undergo more frequent treatments. If a dog has just had surgery, they might have their first treatment before the dog has woken up.

      Orthopedic Bed

      german shepherd on an orthopedic bed
      Photo Credit: Fur Haven

      An orthopedic bed can make all the difference for a dog who is experiencing joint pain. The orthopedic foam material helps regulate temperature to keep your dog warm, in return decreasing joint pain thanks to the heat. The foam helps to retain heat to relax your dog’s muscles and alleviate inflammation in the joints. 

      Since an orthopedic bed tends to be firmer and a little stiffer than a traditional dog bed, it makes it easier for your arthritic dog to stand up after laying down. Having something for your dog to stand up on that also provides them support is helpful. A traditional bed that is softer, allows them to sink in without pushing them upwards. 

      Massage Therapy

      yellow lab getting a massage

      A massage can be helpful to a dog experiencing joint pain. Massaging your dog’s muscles near the affected painful joints can bring immediate relief. The stimulation improves blood flow to tissues including the affected joints.  Short sessions with gentle strokes or kneading are the most safe and effective way to massage your dog. Be sure to refrain from directly massaging the joints, as this could lead to even more discomfort and pain. 

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      Canine Massage Therapy Treatment For Dogs

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        What is Canine Massage Therapy for Dogs?

        boston terrier laying on a massage table with a woman in a black shirt standing behind him with both hands on the dog

        Canine massage therapy for dogs is a type of rehabilitation that involves using particular hand motions on a patient to enhance muscle and joint function by releasing tension, spasms, and other impediments to improve mobility. It can be used to warm up, relax or stimulate muscles to avoid damage, or to help a patient recover after an accident. Massage can also help to compensate for poor circulation by increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow. Finally, massage is used to activate the activity of numerous internal organs via reflexively connected and outwardly located portals of entry, which are commonly referred to as trigger points and/or acupressure sites.

        What Does Canine Massage Therapy Treat?

        There are several advantages to canine massage therapy. Canine massage improves blood flow, relieves tension, reduces discomfort, relaxes stiff and tired muscles, and aids in the healing of sprains and strains by working directly on the soft tissues of the dog. Many people also believe it aids digestion, enhances the immune system, and decreases blood pressure. Massage is frequently used in combination with canine training and chiropractic adjustments by many dog owners. Here is a list of common reasons that dogs get canine massage therapy:

        Is Canine Massage Therapy Safe?

        Massage is one of those alternative practices that is often considered to be “harmless,” despite the fact that it may be harmful in rare situations. Massage should be avoided in dogs with certain disorders (such as mast cell cancer and osteosarcoma), and dogs with spinal injuries who need special care. Consult a veterinarian before massaging a dog that has a fever, has just been hurt, or “just isn’t right.”

        close up of dog's leg being massaged

        How Do I Get Started With Canine Massage Therapy For My Dog?

        If you are interested in canine massage therapy, ask your vet if they think your dog might benefit from it. Most veterinarians are qualified to teach clients how to use passive range of motion procedures to help recovering dogs preserve mobility through passive limb motions. Other massage methods and applications are even more specialized, and they need extra education. For example,  acupressure frequently necessitates some academic education in Chinese medical theory. 

        A licensed massage therapist can also practice massage on animals when a veterinarian has made a diagnosis in accordance with state or regional veterinary laws. If the treatment will be performed by someone other than a veterinarian, the patient must be referred by a veterinarian, who will then be in charge of assessing and directing the patient’s care. If you have a preferred therapist, make sure to bring that up to your vet. You can find a list of canine massage therapy specialist in our specialist directory.

        What Happens During a Canine Massage Therapy Treatment Session?

        yellow lab getting canine massage therapy

        Before the first massage therapy treatment, the practitioner will usually want the dog’s owner to fill out an intake form which would include any physical or behavioral issues the dog may have, and then review the information with you. The therapist working on your dog should allow you to be present during the session and may even prefer it as your dog might be more relaxed. This may be done either in your home or at the office, usually a physical therapy/rehabilitation facility.

        Depending on how the dog acts and whether they are nervous/scared or relaxed, the therapist might spray a calming pheromone like Adaptil or play calming music. The therapist should be aware of dogs’ body language and avoid massaging areas that the dog is expressing that they are uncomfortable with.

        Sessions can vary in length depending on the dog’s reaction, condition, owner’s financial situation, and what is recommended by the vet. If the dog is willing, the therapist can progress from warming-up strokes (like effleurage and compression) to deeper methods (like petrissage and direct pressure) and to additional parts of the body. Various techniques may be used including but not limited to:

        • Swedish Massage: great for warming up tissue to allow for deeper strokes as well as working most minor muscle problems. 
        • Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger point therapy will soften up the knots in the muscle using direct pressure.
        • Myofascial: Myofascial release is a technique that employs light pressure to change the tissue that surrounds muscles.
        • Acupressure: In Acupressure, physical pressure is given on acupuncture points or ashi trigger points in order to alleviate blockages in these meridians during treatment. Pressure can be administered with the hand, elbow, or a variety of devices. This technique is also often done in conjunction with acupuncture.
        Canine Massage Therapy for Dogs
        Massage Therapy for Dogs
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        Gastroenteritis in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnoses and Treatment

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          What Is Gastroenteritis in Dogs?

          vizla dog squatting and pooping on a leash Gastroenteritis

          Gastroenteritis in dogs is an inflammatory illness of the gastrointestinal system (stomach and intestines). It will most usually manifest as diarrhoea with or without vomiting; while it might manifest as simply vomiting, this is significantly less common. Gastroenteritis can be chronic (lasting more than two weeks) or acute (lasting less than two weeks and normally going away on its own, but may worsen over time).

          What Causes Gastroenteritis in Dogs?

          Gastroenteritis in dogs can have a variety of reasons. Anything that drastically affects a dog’s microbiota can cause the disease. Here is a list of potential causes: 

          • Consuming spoiled food
          • Ingesting strange substances
          • Toxin ingestion
          • Parvovirus and other certain viruses and bacteria
          • Kidney and liver disease
          • Worms and other intestinal parasites
          • Food sensitivities
          • Ulcers in the intestine
          • Certain types of gastrointestinal cancer

          What Are The Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis?

          In dogs, gastroenteritis often begins with soft feces that grows progressively wetter. You may detect mucous in the stool, your dog struggling to have a bowel movement, and/or feces in the home later on. Here are some more frequent warning signs:

          • Bowel motions that are explosive and/or frequent
          • Tarry feces
          • Large amounts of watery feces
          • Blood in stool
          • Lethargy
          • Restlessness
          • Pain in the abdomen
          • Nausea
          • Vomiting

          Depending on the degree and course of the condition, dogs may exhibit one or more of these symptoms.

          How Do You Know When To Go To The Vet?

          husky on a table at the vet for Gastroenteritis

          Dogs with gastroenteritis can appear completely normal. They may not exhibit any symptoms other than a change in the quality, amount, frequency, or placement of their feces. As previously stated, dogs with HGE will exhibit more visible symptoms.

          Because it’s impossible to predict if a dog’s health will worsen, veterinarian care should be sought in all episodes of diarrhea, especially in puppies, senior dogs, or small breed dogs that are more prone to dehydration. If your dog exhibits symptoms of vomiting, nausea, bleeding, discomfort, or lethargy, he or she must seek veterinary attention immediately.

          How Is Gastroenteritis Diagnosed?

          Gastroenteritis diagnosis is done via the process of exclusion.  Essentially, this implies that before establishing a generic diagnosis such as gastroenteritis, your veterinarian will rule out or remove alternative more serious causes of the clinical indications. A thorough medical history is the first step in diagnosing what is causing a dog’s vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and other accompanying clinical indications.

          Among the most important pieces of information in your dog’s medical history are:

          • Your dog’s current diet, how much and how frequently you feed your dog
          • Everything your dog ate or drank in the last 48 hours
          • Any new meals, treats, or incentives.
            Any recent exposure to pesticides, drugs, cleaning agents, or other new materials in your house.
          • Any recent contact with a new animal or human.
            Previous bouts of vomiting and diarrhea (including their cause and treatment).
          • Any disease that occurred within the last month.
          • Any chronic ailments that your dog may be suffering from.
          • Any drugs, vitamins, or supplements used in the previous month

          Your veterinary health team may have you fill in a questionnaire prior to your visit. 

          Following the completion of the medical history, your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination. Your veterinarian will examine your pet for signs of dehydration, belly discomfort or soreness, bloating or gas, swellings, or any other physical anomaly. The temperature of your dog, as well as other vital indicators (heart rate and respiration rate), will be recorded.

          Diagnostic testing will be advised at this point, and may include:

          • The presence of dehydration and infection is indicated by a complete blood cell count (CBC).
          • Serum chemistry and electrolytes – identifies organ system abnormalities as well as electrolyte imbalances caused by vomiting and diarrhea.
          • Urinalysis identifies urinary tract infections, renal illness, dehydration, urine glucose for diabetics, and other conditions.
          • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays) are used to look for gastric (stomach) or intestinal obstructions, as well as other abnormalities.
          • Ultrasound of the abdomen to search for intestinal blockages or other abnormalities.

          How Is Gastroenteritis Treated?

          female vet giving a boston terrier a pill

          The principal treatment of gastroenteritis is rehydration and restoration of blood electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, and/or chloride). Depending on the degree of dehydration, this fluid replacement will be given orally, subcutaneously (beneath the skin), or by intravenous (IV) treatment.

          Medical treatment may also include:

          • Antidiarrheal drugs may be used to alter intestinal motility (activity) after intestinal obstruction or other mechanical and anatomical issues have been ruled out. If your dog is experiencing severe colitis, motility-modifying agents are generally not recommended.
          • Anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) medications, for example, maropitant (brand name Cerenia®) or metoclopramide (brand name Reglan®) may be given to your dog.
          • Gastrointestinal protectants are used to prevent stomach ulcers, for example, famotidine (brand name Pepcid®) or ranitidine (brand name Zantac®).

          Food is often withheld during the initial stages of treatment for 24-48 hours and then slowly reintroduced. Small, frequent feedings of a highly digestible, low fat diet are generally prescribed. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best diet to feed your dog for a speedy recovery.

          What Is The Prognosis For Gastroenteritis?

          The majority of instances of acute gastroenteritis improve quickly following rehydration. Call your veterinarian if the vomiting and diarrhea do not improve dramatically within 48 hours of therapy.

          Gastroenteritis is a prevalent problem in veterinary medicine. Early detection and treatment are critical to restoring your dog to their usual healthy state as soon as possible. Please contact your veterinarian if you have any more questions or concerns.

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          Best 10 Anxiety Relief Products for Dogs You Need to Try

          More than 70% of dogs have anxiety issues of one kind or another according to a study done in Finland of 13,715 pet dogs of 264 different breeds. It can be heartbreaking seeing your dog in distress over events such as storms, fireworks, vet visits, car rides, and more. We’ve put together some of our favorite anxiety relief products for dogs to help both them and you.

          1. Calmeroos Puppy Heartbeat Toy Sleep Aid

          Price: $37.99

          Calmeroos are an excellent way to calm puppies by allowing them to recreate the experience of cuddling with their mom and littermates. Each Calmeroo has a pouch in it that contains both a heat pack and mechanical heartbeat to replicate their mother and helps them feel calm, happy, and at ease making them an effective anxiety relief product for dogs.

          Ches
          via Amazon
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          I bought this product just before picking up my new puppy from the breeder. I brought it with me and rubbed it on my puppy's mother to get her scent. The first night I put her in with the "faux mom", my puppy cried for about 5 minutes, then settled down. She slept the whole night without making a sound. She still sleeps with it every night, and I have not had a problem with her crying because she is lonely. I've had other puppies, and getting them use to sleeping alone at night was always a challenge. This is the best thing on the market. I would recommend it to anyone bringing home a new pet.

          2. Sport ThunderShirt for Dogs

          Price: Starting at $44.95

          The ThunderShirt SPORT is a sleek and effective way to alleviate anxiety, panic, and over-excitement. The breathable jacket is designed for comfort, with washable, durable fabric, contrasting trim, and reflective logos for safer evening walks. ThunderShirt offers the most advanced patented pressure wrap design on the market. ThunderShirt, like swaddling a child, is clinically shown to reduce anxiety, panic, and over-excitement.

          DogLover
          via Chewy
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          I have an 8 yr old English Foxhound who is very afraid of thunder. When she hears thunder (which I haven't heard yet), she sits in front of me and whines for her ThunderShirt to be put on and then she is instantly much calmer. Of course she still shivers a bit if there is thunder that cracks overhead, but it definitely helps her! ADVICE for people about to order!! Google measurement for Thundershirt and measure around the chest like you're strapping your dog into a seat belt. Saved me from accidentally getting a large.

          3. VETCBD 20:1 Formulation

          Price: Varies per Location

          VETCBD is the first CBD for pets and was created by a veterinarian. VetCBD is a tincture with small amounts of THC. This makes it more effective in providing relief from anxiety, pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and loss of appetite.

          Mastiffmom09
          via weedmaps
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          I have never commented on any products ever, but this one deserves it. My sweet 170# English Mastiff started having ocular seizures in 2017. He was put on phenobarbital which messed him up really bad and didn’t work. Then he was put on keppra which didn’t work either. I love my vet but they didn’t want to even entertain the idea of using CBD. After his last appointment she said he was having way to many seizures (I take notes about every seizure). I came home and a friend made me try it. Zeus has not had any seizures in 2 months. This is the only brand that I trust. I thank the producer from the bottom of my heart for helping me with my baby.

          4. Pet Acoustics Pet Tunes Calming Music Dog Speaker

          Price:$59.99

          With the Pet Acoustics Pet Tunes Calming Music Dog Speaker, you can help your pet tune into a tranquil, stress-free state of mind. This Bluetooth® speaker is pre-loaded with 90 minutes of music created by a sound behaviorist to help dogs cope with stress and anxiety. The doggy music is clinically proven and veterinarian-approved to assist decrease stress-related behaviors like excessive barking and pacing, which can occur when your pooch is home alone, during thunderstorms, when traveling, or when he is adjusting to new situations.

          Jenny
          via Chewy
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          My dog gets so anxious during storms that he trembles. I’ve tried a thunder coat, supplements, etc, nothing helped. This music does the trick. After a few minutes with it, he stops shaking, lays his head down, and relaxes. I LOVE this product.

          5. Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Shag Fur Donut Bed

          Price: $17.48

          With this Luxury Shag Donut Self-Heating pet bed, you can provide your beloved companion with the pleasant sleep t dheyeserves. The round shape provides a safe environment, while the bolstered edge provides additional orthopedic support and well as a paw-sitively purr-fect headrest. Warmth is radiated from your pet’s own body heat via the unique insulating layer. It’s machine washable and dryer friendly, and it’s made of a soft faux-shag material that will keep your pet warm, toasty, and comfortable.

          Jean
          via Chewy
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          As I write this review, my 20-lb cavalier/beagle rescue pup is in his BFS bed sleeping as soundly as I've seen in the two weeks that I've had him. This was a desperation purchase and I just wasn't totally sold on the advertised calming effect. The expensive Orvis bed with bolsters that I bought has been a big "meh" for my pup as has the LL Bean oval dog bed. Every time I'd get up from my desk, he'd get up and follow me. Every noise he heard would make him get up and bark. This BFS bed is a serious game changer. He's out like a light. 1 hour and counting!

          6. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care

          Price: $49.99

          Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care contains a type of helpful bacteria that has been demonstrated to aid dogs in maintaining a calm temperament. Purina nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians collaborated on the science behind these therapeutic products.

          Erica
          via Chewy
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          I adopted a senior dog who struggles with anxiety. His anxiety was so bad that he would break out of his crate and then if we left him out he would chew the door handles and scratch through the drywall. My vet recommended we try this as a more natural option opposed to medication. This has helped my guy a ton! He still has his personality but lost most of his anxious behavior. I can tell when i take him for walks he is more calm and not crazy after seeing or hearing any little thing. I recently ran out and forgot to order right away so we went a few days without it. What a difference, his walks have been rough since he now is all nervous with the sounds and sights again. I do have him on a low level medication for when we leave the house, but this daily powder has saved us! I was truly nervous my guy would hurt himself if i didn't find something quick. Life Saver!! After some research, I realized she might just be a nervous dog. I discovered this wonderful calming collar. So far it's working wonders! Lucy is now being calm, loving, quiet and even considerate to my sister's old dog.

          7. Best Friends by Sheri Luxury Shag Dog & Cat Throw Blanket

          Price: $23.92

          The Best Friends by Sheri Shag Blanket mimics a dog’s mother’s fur which can help relax them and aid in comfort and security while providing warmth. It can be used in their bed, create, the couch and it’s easy to travel within the car for road trips.

          Charlie S.
          via Amazon
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          I have 3 dogs. 2 older ones and a younger monkey butt just shy of 2 years old in full teenage rebellion phase with his crate time. He was diagnosed with underlying insecurity/situational anxiety + Impact of arousal. With that in mind, this blanket arrived today. After his dinner I put it in his crate. He gave me 1 whine. Settled. He's out. No rebellion. I'm eating. Does't matter (always does). Will update this review if this initial lack of drama is a fluke but right now it's a dream come true. At first he chomped on the fur but after a worded correction he stopped. When I approached to take the pic that got his attention. I opened the kennel dog. He went to get a drink. Went straight back to crate. 5 stars on account of chilling out lil monkey butt

          8. Solliquin Behavior Supplement for Dogs

          Price: $32.83

          These chewable pills assist to maintain healthy behavior by including a unique combination of l-theanine, floral extracts, and whey protein. So, whether your pet is apprehensive about new people, fearful of car rides, or startled by loud noises, these daily chews can help them calm and sleep during stressful circumstances. Solliquin is part of a complete treatment strategy, and when paired with training and patience, it may help avoid anxiety-related behavioral issues such as excessive barking, panting, and over-grooming.

          Alyssa
          via Chewy
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          Honestly these work pretty well, and they do what they're supposed to. I feel like people have really high expectations for calming vitamins. They're not sedatives, and you shouldn't want your dog to be sedated in the first place. Obviously this doesn't make my dog's anxiety disappear, but it definitely makes him less triggered by things that would normally upset him. He has pretty horrible anxiety and went through a phase where he cried/barked/howled the entire night... like the ENTIRE night for 6 months. Since then/for the past 2 years his anxiety comes in waves and is completely unpredictable. I've used Solliquin with him for the past 5 months and it has helped regulate his anxiety. He is less on edge and can actually function much better. I am super grateful for it and I think that it can be a great supplement to use alongside training!

          9. Zesty Paws Core Elements Calming Supplement

          Price: $29.97

          Zesty Paws Calming Bites are excellent chewables that may aid dogs suffering from normal tension, anxiousness, and hyperactivity in remaining calm and at peace! Suntheanine, an improved version of L-Theanine, and Sensoril Ashwagandha are included in this functional dog supplement. These innovative compounds work together to promote your canine pet’s relaxation, tranquillity, attention, and clarity. Additionally, Chamomile, Valerian Root, and L-Tryptophan are included in these soft chews to help soothe and relax your pet.

          nursedoolittle
          via Chewy
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          I tried these in the past and couldn't really tell if they worked. I ordered them for a foster dog I had coming up who the shelter said had crate anxiety. He destroyed 2 regular non heavy duty crates traveling to vet for heart worm treatment. Gave treats to him 30ish min before leaving for work for several days, watched him on pup cam as I drove to work, he whimpered a bit for a few min but then was fine. Ok let's go to Wednesday, I'm off and another rescue volinteer/foster needs food, so I took food over to her house about 30 min away. Didn't even think to give him these treats because I was just quick running out. Watched him on pup cam and he screamed, whaled, and howled the ENTIRE hour I was gone! No doubt he'd have busted out if not in lions crate!!! So yup these treats work because he didn't act like that the times I left after giving him the treats!!! It's not his crate causing anxiety because he'll go in on his own to chew bones or hang out. He has severe separation anxiety!

          10. Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat Dog Lick Mat

          Price: $7.95

          The Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat is a dog slow feeder lick mat that increases relaxation while they enjoy their favorite snack from the textured surface, relieving anxiety and boredom in your dog. It can be used during thunderstorms, fireworks, bathtime, nail trimming, vet visits, and more. Choose your dog’s favorite treat to smooth over the surface. For an even longer-lasting treat, freeze it beforehand.

          69469269069
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          A nice mid day treat. I have a reactive dog and two other anxious dogs and this was the perfect mid day treat that kept them occupied for 20 or so minutes. I put peanut butter, chicken, and blueberries and froze it so it would take longer. It’s not bad to clean, just keep that old toothbrush by the sink and use it to scrub it all out. 10/10 recommend and I already sent to all my friends.
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          What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

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            Watching your dog itch themselves raw can be distressing, especially when you can’t pinpoint the cause. A common cause of intense itching is canine atopic dermatitis which luckily, can be controlled with the right changes to diet and environment as well as medication.

            What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

            Canine Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that is a result of allergies leading to itchy skin and inflammation. It happens to be the second most common skin disease among dogs. 

            What Causes Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

            Atopic Dermatitis is a result of allergies in dogs. Pollen, animal dander, plants, and insects are the most common allergens that cause dog allergies, but dogs can also be sensitive to food and medications. Itching, scratching, and grooming are among the signs of allergies. Other symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, paw chewing, and skin irritation. When humans have allergies, we sneeze, have a runny nose and watery eyes but dogs react to allergies with  skin and/or gastrointestinal problems.

            In dogs, allergic dermatitis (atopy) is caused by a genetic tendency to develop allergy symptoms after repeated contact to an otherwise innocuous chemical (an “allergen”). Allergic symptoms usually appear between the ages of 1 and 3 years. Since the condition is inherited, some dogs are more likely to be afflicted with it than others.

            Common Allergens

            Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity

            Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s body overreacts to typical Staphylococcus (Staph) germs. Dogs with hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are more prone to develop hypersensitivity to microorganisms. Microbiological tests are used to identify bacterial hypersensitivity. Bacterial hypersensitivity is characterized by certain alterations in the skin’s blood vessels.

            Contact and Inhalant Allergies 

            Pollens from grasses, trees, and weeds, dust mites, and molds can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs, just as they can in people. The timing of the reaction might be used as a hint to diagnose these allergies. If so, how often does it occur? There’s a chance it’s mold or dust. Toxic pollen may be to blame if the allergic response is seasonal.

            Food Allergies

            Since their pets have eaten the same diet their whole lives, many people do not identify food allergies as the source of their dog’s scratching. As a result, this finding does not rule out the possibility of food allergies in animals. Some believe that dogs are only sensitive to bad food. Irritation caused by a particular component in dog food does not matter whether the product is costly or not. Premium foods have the benefit of avoiding common fillers that might cause allergic responses.

            Flea Allergies

            Dogs aren’t necessarily allergic to the fleas or flea bites, but their saliva. Dogs who are only 

            Exposed to fleas occasionally are more likely to be sensitive to flea saliva than those who are infected more often. The effects of the saliva from a single flea bite can last from five to seven days, so you don’t need many fleas to make your dog uncomfortable. 

            What are the Symptoms of Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

            The common clinical signs of atopic dermatitis include:

            • Compulsive licking or lick granuloma in dogs 
            • Scratching of their face, paws, ears, groin
            • Watery eyes
            • Sneezing
            • Itching
            • Scratching
            • Rubbing
            • Licking
            • A yeasty smell
            • Greasy skin
            • Redness or tough skin

            How is Canine Atopic Dermatitis Diagnosed?

            Testing for allergies is the best way to diagnose and treat dogs with moderate or severe allergies. There are a variety of testing procedures. Tests for antigen-induced antibodies in the dog’s blood are most common. Intradermal skin testing is another option. The antigen is then injected into a section of the dog’s skin that’s been shaved in a precise order, so that if the dog reacts, the antigen may be recognized. After that, the shaved region is inspected to find out if any antigens caused a reaction (this might take many hours).

            What is the Treatment for Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

            There are multiple different treatment options for treating atopic dermatitis but it will depend on both the actual cause of the allergy, the severity and what the dog reacts best too.

            Medicated Baths 

            Numerous medicinal shampoos include ingredients designed to soothe inflamed skin. Bathing your dog regularly can also help eliminate allergens from the hair coat, which can lead to skin allergy flare-ups. This includes antibacterial and antifungal agents, along with substances that allow bathing the skin on a more frequent basis without causing it to become dry. The use of a rinse thereafter also helps to prevent the skin and hair coat from drying out.

            Antihistamines

            Antihistamines can be given to dogs with little risk. Some owners have had success using antihistamines. As a rule of thumb, these medicines tend to have a varied effect on different dogs. It has been shown that antihistamines are highly effective at treating allergic skin conditions in some dogs. It has a negligible effect on other breeds of dogs. As a result, owners should try at least three different types of antihistamines before giving up. These include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax and Zyrtec. Antihistamines, on the other hand, are generally seen to be worth a shot because of their minimal risk of adverse effects and their affordability.

            Antibiotic and Antifungal Meds

            Secondary skin infections are often treated with antibiotics. Secondary yeast infections are often treated with antifungal medicines. These should only be prescribed by a veterinarian.

            Flea Control

            Flea management is essential for dogs with an allergy to flea saliva. It’s imperative to keep flea preventative on your dog. It’s available orally and topically. It’s important to do research prior to purchasing as many brands come out with new formulas each year to battle ever adapting fleas.

            Supplements

            Skin health is improved by Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplementation. Fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties in the natural world. Many dogs with allergies benefit from these products. The fact that they are non-toxic and have almost no adverse effects makes them worth a shot. 

            Hypoallergenic Foods

            Hypoallergenic meals include proteins and carbs that your dog has never eaten before, because allergies are the result of exposure. Tests for food allergies are the fastest and most accurate way to discover which foods your dog could or might not be allergic to. 80% of dog food allergies are caused by dairy, meat, and wheat, therefore these foods should be avoided. For example, hypoallergenic diets utilize venison, duck eggs and other non-traditional protein sources, such as duck, kangaroo, and a variety of fish. Potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin are all good sources of carbohydrates.

            Diets including hydrolyzed protein are those in which the protein source has been synthesized into tiny pieces before being consumed. As a result of providing a hydrolyzed protein source, allergy-prone dogs’ immune systems are supposed to be unable to identify the protein fragments and build an immunological response, resulting in an allergic reaction to the meal. 

            A store-bought hypoallergenic diet works well for most pets with food allergies, but sometimes an animal’s allergies are so severe that a customized diet is the best alternative. Veterinarians should be consulted in order to tailor the diet in this scenario.

            Immunosuppressive Agents and Corticosteroids 

            You can reduce itchiness using cortisone products such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, and prednisone. There are adverse effects associated with these medicines, therefore they should be taken with caution while treating skin allergies. Steroids should only be used if the allergy season is brief, the dosage is minimal, or the dog is in significant pain. Increased thirst and appetite, increased urination, and behavioral changes are some of the possible side effects. Diabetic complications and a weakened immune system are possible side effects of prolonged usage. There are certain canines that can only be adequately managed with a long-term, low-dose alternate day treatment.

            “Cyclosporine,” also known as Atopica, is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been shown to be quite successful in treating skin allergies in dogs.

            Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization) 

            Many individuals have had tremendous success with allergy injections, but they take a long time to work. It may take six to twelve months for the condition to improve. An immunotherapy for that individual dog may be created after allergies have been identified and the dog’s treatment can begin. An injection containing a combination of these antigens can be created when the problematic antigens have been identified. They are administered over a period of weeks to months depending on the type of agent used, until the dog develops immunity to the agent. It may be necessary to give a booster shot every now and then after initial protection.

            Controlling Environment Factors

            Anti-allergy medication is most effective if you know the things your dog is allergic too. Avoiding the allergen completely is preferable than desensitizing your dog with allergy injections. By using a dehumidifier, or by adding activated charcoal on top of the soil on your houseplants, you can limit the growth of molds. For the greatest dust and pollen management, use a HEPA air cleaner. A/C can also help minimize the quantity of airborne allergens that circulate since the windows are kept closed.

            Medicine for Thyroid 

            Numerous variables, both external and internal, contribute to the maintenance of healthy skin. As well as maintaining a proper skin surface, many glands in the body produce hormones that are essential for various body functions. When the thyroid is underactive, it can affect the skin and hair coat, resulting in thinning hair and dull, brittle hair, as well as skin that is oily or dry. When it comes to determining if your dog has hypothyroidism, a blood test is the easiest and most straightforward approach.

            In order to cure hypothyroidism, thyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, is taken daily (levothyroxine). In order to determine the efficacy of the dose and make any required changes, blood samples will need to be taken on a regular basis.

            Recap

            To conclude, when it comes to managing an atopic, allergic dog, it may be difficult and irritating since it usually takes a variety of approaches to control the allergy flare-ups. To optimize the chances of healing or at least managing a seriously afflicted allergic patient, a veterinarian’s proper diagnosis, owner compliance, and follow-up treatment are critical. You can find a veterinary dermatologist near you in our specialist directory or find products to help with atopic dermatitis in our product directory!

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