DOES YOUR DOG NEED A GRAIN FREE DIET?

Pet parents have access to more information than ever and one of the things they care deeply about is feeding the best diet for their dog. Grain free dog foods are currently very popular and are often touted as a way to help your dog’s chronic skin problems. But will they help your dog’s skin disease? Are grain free diets generally healthier for your dog than other available pet foods? Let’s take a closer look at these questions.

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Can you list the “5 Top Allergen Groups” that can cause your dog’s allergic reactions? Bonus Tips on Avoidance!

Dog allergies can be caused by the same allergens that cause your allergies.  Yes, the family cat can be a problem but other allergens are more likely. Allergens are substances that trigger an inappropriate (exaggerated) response from your pet’s immune system.  Allergic pets tend to scratch, rub, scoot, bite, and lick their skin as well as experience recurrent skin and ear infections.  You can significantly reduce your pet’s allergic symptoms by making simple environmental changes.

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Keeping your dog safe from ticks

Summer season means Ticks too! Here’s how keep your dog SAFE!

Yes, ticks give most people the willies – they are a member of the spider family (arachnids not insects). Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals and unfortunately can also transmit diseases to our dogs and us. Lyme disease is typically the most common tick-borne disease people worry about. 

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Who can help me find answers for my dog’s chronic itchy skin?

First, there are many diseases that can cause your dog to lick, bite, chew, scoot, and scratch!  Allergies, of course, being the one that immediately comes to mind and it is likely the most common.  That said, we cannot simply forget the other causes of intense itchy skin, such as scabies mites and even yeast infections.  Effectively treating skin disease is like “peeling an onion”.  You need to treat each “layer” of the problem in a systematic pattern in order to reach the underlying core.  Reaching the “core” will allow you to devise a plan to prevent recurrence.  All too often, dogs are treated with a “shot gun” approach or “poly-pharmacy” approach.  You receive a bag of medications or a variety of shots to treat all “potential” problems.  This technique is frustrating for you, the pet parent.  You might see immediate relief  BUT as soon as the meds have worn off……the problem returns!  You need to systematically “peel the onion”

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What is the best way to clean my dog’s ears?

There is a fine line between cleaning your dog’s ears too much and not enough!  Not only is the frequency of cleaning important but also the actual method or process used.  The technique and appropriate cleanser are often determined by the cause of the otitis.  Some cases of otitis are too painful for cleaning at home during the initial phases of therapy.  The choice in cleansers is typically made based on the type of secondary infection (i.e. yeast vs. bacteria).  

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