Would you like to learn my new routine for my German Shepherds? Over the last past fourty years or so I have learned so much about dog health and well-being.
As with many people, I had numerous dogs growing up. But, over the last 10 years or so, I have learned even more, in fact, a tremendous amount especially as my German Shepherd, Rosie, has suffered from chronic ear infections and continual itching.
First, vaccinations, wormings, etc.; these are non-negotiable. From a holistic standpoint, I wish we didn't have to do it at all, but legally we do. And if you are going to board your dog, you will need proof of your dog being current all shots, including Bordetella (sometimes called Kennel Cough).
Next, diet; after what I have been through with my dog's allergies, cysts, etc., I recommend a raw, organic diet if you can do it. No, it's not cheap, but neither was the $600 I just spent to have 2 cysts (not tumors) removed.
My own dogs now eat better, eats less and, thankfully seems to be scratching less and less as the days go by thanks to the changes I've made and my new routine for my German Shepherds. But in case you don't want to go this route, there are many good, organic foods on the market.
I found the best service and information often came from my local natural food/feed store owner, not from the big box stores. I use Dr. Harvey’s; add my own raw meat and oil. I make two days at a time and toss it in the fridge. “Club” stores can save you a lot on meat prices. If you have the funds, organic is great.
Don’t forget to have plenty of clean, fresh water available. For pups, pick up the water about 7pm or so and give them a break before bed to help eliminate “bed wetting.” There are many testimonials now leaning towards organic diets reversing cancer, increasing vitality and even joint movement. So, it may be even more worth while than we once thought.
A side note on the allergies; the Vet told us regularly that Rosie was just prone to ear infections and he wasn't too concerned about it. As far as the cysts; we told the Vet two or three times and showed the larger one to him; he said it was nothing to worry about.
Lessons learned; do your homework and, if needed, change Vets. This is an important part of my new routine for my German Shepherds. If the vet doesn't seem fully integrated into getting my dogs healthy, then they don't stay my vet for very long. Daily care must be taken, especially if like Rosie, your dog tends to have loads of allergies.
Note: an unattended allergy from food can cause a chain reaction resulting in increased yeast which may produce an all-out ear infection. Then you will need to treat it for about 10 days or until it completely subsides. Before switching to an organic diet, I began giving Rosie what I use for my allergies; Hyland's Hives. Very cheap, about the size of an aspirin, and tasting as bad, Rosie chomped them down and the itching always subsided in a few minutes.
For months, I have been diligent to keep Rosie’s ears clean, adding creams or lotions to keep the itching to a minimum. Through my research I recently learned another use for our “save the day” farm remedy; witch hazel. Used for everything from insect bites to makeup removal, it’s a much less expensive option to keep ears clean and itch free and now a prime part of my new routine for my German Shepherds.
The cleaner from the Vet is about $20 a bottle and each time we needed the actual medicated lotion, we were charged for an exam before he would give us another prescription for it. Additional vet costs are certainly not a part of my new routine for my German Shepherds. I also learned, thankfully not the hard way, a chronic ear infection, if left untreated, can cause hearing impairment. So, keep the witch hazel and cotton balls handy.
Other causes of allergies can be your cleaning supplies, the chemicals put on the lawn, certain meats or grains, dust, etc. There is much work involved if you really want to know the exact culprit. I settled for knowing I can sleep through the night without having to get up at least once to put lotion on Rosie’s ears, giving her the Hives and sitting with her, rubbing her ears until the itching subsided and she walked away to bed.
Even with all of her "itchies" Rosie remained very active so for a few days I gave her a few drops of Pet Rescue Remedy with her food to relax her a bit. This product is a great alternative to the sedatives the Vet provided us when Rosie had some minor surgery done as it does not make her groggy; thus she doesn’t stumble around and chance hurting herself even more.
All of this experience has given me even more insight into
keeping my GSD's healthy and happy. So, to sum it all up, my new routine
for my German Shepherds includes vaccinations, a raw food diet, routine ear cleaning and maintenance (don’t forget nails and full showers with organic shampoo) and appropriate exercise which makes for a happy dog and a good nights sleep for everyone else in the family too.
"A man's soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog." -- Charles Doran
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