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Friday, July 21, 2017

Cat Meets Dog: How to Ensure a Happy and Safe Cohabitation

There is no reason that a dog and a cat can’t live together in perfect harmony. They’re not natural competitors in the wild and don’t actually have any beef with each other; dogs just happens to be a lot larger and stronger than cats. To introduce a new dog to a resident cat means than your dog needs to understand that the feline isn’t a toy; if you don’t put sufficient time and energy into making this happen, you’re going to end up with a very unhappy kitty.

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Image by: Pexels

Follow these steps, however, from bringing the puppy home to the final introduction and cohabitation, to make their relationship as smooth as possible. It requires an obedient dog from the beginning, so make sure you’re up to date on the puppy training.

Bringing the Puppy Home

From the moment your new pet steps into your home, it should be on a leash. The initial meeting is a sensitive moment and you’d want to send a clear signal to both the confused cat and the energetic puppy that inside means being calm and under control. Don’t let the two of them meet yet - they still have weeks left of getting used to each other’s presence via scents.

Find a confined room for both your pets; you’d want a room where your cat feels perfectly safe and comfortable, as well as a place where you can keep your dog under control. They should both have access to food, water, a bed, and toys, as well as anything else that ensures their happiness. If you have a stair gate anywhere in your home, you should make use of it when introducing your pets later on. That way, they’ll be able to see each other without having access to other’s space.

Keep in mind that introducing a small kitten to a large dog requires even more care and attention. Not only are kittens more vulnerable due to their size, but they also tend to be more playful. Ensure that the kitten doesn’t get the chance to excite your dog too much and that she doesn’t slip through the stair gate.

Scent Swapping

Put something with your dog’s scent in your cat’s room, and the same with one of your cat’s things - a blanket or a toy are good alternatives. You want them to get as used to each other as possible, and exposed to the smell of the mysterious other when they’re in a comfortable situation.

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Image by: Pexels

Spend time with each pet and make sure neither feels ignored; pet and stroke the coat of your puppy and treat your cat the same way without washing your hands. This has the same principle as scent swapping with toys, but this time you’re bringing yourself into the picture as well. You’re not just a comfortable and safe person to them - you’re also their leader. A new and unsettling scent is suddenly a lot more comforting when it’s mixed with yours.

Keep the scent swapping up for a while before they meet. With a damp cloth, gently stroke the new family member’s fur and dab it around your home to spread its smell. It’s what your new pet would have done in any way if it had the chance; when you take care of it, you avoid having the two of them meet prematurely.

The First Meeting

After a few weeks - or even months of this, your two fur children are ready to meet. Remember that the longer you keep up the subtle work of scent swapping and making them get used to the other’s presence, the better their foundation for getting along will be. Your cat is the weaker one of the two, so make sure she has an easy escape route back to the safe room.

The desired outcome of these first few meetings is to keep a positive tone, prevent the dog from chasing the cat and allowing the cat to observe the dog’s behavior. Cats like to watch from a distance, and it’s a good idea to let the cat approach when she feels like it - if you were to carry the cat yourself, you might end up with a couple of scratches.

Have some treats handy for each of them and keep the dog behind the stair gate. Each animal reacts differently, and it’s difficult to predict their behavior - but with a young puppy, he is likely to get a bit excited at the sight of your cat. Use the dog treats to distract him from barking or becoming too energized, as well as to reward calm behavior. Keep an eye on the signals your dog is sending, by the way; if he stares at your kitten for a long time, use the treats to break up the interaction.

Developing Relations

If any of these first meetings ends sourly, go back to keeping them in separate rooms and swap scents as you used to. When they’re able to go through a few sessions under your supervision, without barking or appearing frightened, you can allow them to interact more freely - although you should still supervise them to make sure your cat is safe. It’s a good idea to keep your dog on a house line to prevent any chasing, as well as installing pet doors so that they both have access to their areas. Look at the best pet doors for dogs as well as the best ones for cats before you decide.

Some dog breeds are more prone to barking and chasing than others, and you know your dog’s behavior better than any. End the interaction as soon as either of them appears worked up or frightened. If each of these first meetings can be kept short and sweet, you’re in for a long and happy cohabitation.

Remember not to expect too much of your pets to begin with. The goal is to see both of them accept the other rather than chasing them or feeling frightened; if you master this, you’ve already come a long way.


Can You Still Care For Your Dog If You're A Super Busy Person?


Owning a dog is one thing, but providing it with the care and attention it needs is quite another. With our busy lives, few people have the time they’d like to properly take care of their dogs and give them the time they need to be healthy and happy. This has led many people to cry foul, but is there anything you can do if you’ve got no choice but to be busy?

It turns out that there are quite a few options open to you. Even if you think that your timetable is completely full, there are often still opportunities to look after your dog and keep it happy. Unlike children. Dog’s don’t care if you’re on the phone or not talking directly to them: they just want to feel part of the pack, which is why they’re so easy to look after even when you feel as if you’re not paying them any attention at all.

There’s no need to assume that just because your life is hectic, your dog will necessarily be neglected and stressed. Here’s what you can do to make your dog’s like better, even if you’re a super busy person.

Take Your Pooch To Work

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Think taking your dog to work isn’t an option? Check with your employer first. Most people are surprised to find out that many places of work have a dog-friendly policy. Some offices allow dogs one day a week; others allow them all the time. The reason for this is because most business owners love dogs and they’ve found over the years that when dogs are in the office, people are actually more productive. It’s a win-win for everybody, including your precious hound.

Find A Playmate For Your Pooch

Dogs are pack animals. As a result, they get stressed and upset when they’re on their own. For a dog, being alone means being without security and having to fend for oneself - not something which would have been beneficial back when dogs lived as wolves in the wild. The instinct to find company has stuck with them ever since.

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If you aren’t able to spend a lot of time with your dog because of work or something else, consider getting them a playmate. You might think that having two dogs would be ever harder than just looking after one, but it can actually have the opposite effect, reducing the amount of attention your dog needs.

Even if you don’t want to get another dog outright, you could organize play dates with other dogs in the local area. What about sharing dog sitting responsibilities with a neighbor? You could have their dog over at the weekends and in return, they could look after your dog on weekdays while you’re out at work.

Put Your Dog Into Doggy Daycare

Just as there is daycare for children, there’s also daycare for dogs: places where your dog will be looked after by experts along with plenty of other dogs. You might think that your pooch isn’t up for all that company, but it turns out that dogs absolutely love spending time with other animals. Just like kids, they’re often beaming after a playdate.

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The great thing about doggy daycare is that many of the centers offer correctional training too. If you haven’t had time to train your dog and you have problems with discipline at home, sending them to daycare every day where they can be trained by the staff can often improve their behavior in the evenings.

Daycare also helps dogs socialize and play sensibly with other dogs. This can make walking your dog a lot more fun and stop them from running off and jumping up at everybody you meet in the park.

Put Dog Time In Your Diary

Although you can pass over a lot of the responsibility for owning a dog to other people, you still need to make a personal connection with your pooch. But the good news is that you don’t need long to be effective. Just 10 minutes in the morning of high-quality dog time is usually all it takes to let the dog know that you’re an important member of its pack.

Whatever you do for bonding, make sure it’s fun. You use the time for training, playing ball or even feeding healthy treats. Just petting your dog can go a long way to creating a deep bond.

Get Somebody Else To Walk The Dog For You

One of the main reasons busy people don’t get a dog in the first place is because they’re worried they won’t have time to take it for walks. But the truth is, they don’t have to have the time. There are plenty of dog walking services out there that will happily take your pooch for a long walk every day if required.

The great thing about dog walkers is that they can help break the monotony when you’re out of the house. Plus, your dog gets to spend time with other dogs. Regular walks will make your dog far more manageable in the evenings after a hefty dose of exercise, making the time that you do have together more relaxing and special.

Build A Routine

As a busy person, you know that you can get a lot more done when you stick to a schedule. Your morning routine is your way of packing as much into as short a space of time as possible. But what if you got up 30 minutes earlier? Would you be able to fit in doggy time too?

If you’re super busy, it’s a good idea to follow a strict schedule. Set feeding times, walking times and bonding times. Your dog will soon get used to the pattern and learn what to expect. Dogs will be most active when you are, so if you take your pooch out in the morning, expect them to be very active and attentive at this time of day. By setting up a regular, predictable schedule, your pooch will hopefully be less anxious and worried when you're not around.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Special Care for Dogs with a Leg Injury

Dogs can communicate emotions such as happy, nervous or excited quite well. However, dogs aren’t able to let their owners know their pain level. In fact, they may try to go about their normal activity even when they have injured themselves and are in pain. They depend on their owner for help them in times of illness or injury.
Extra Support

Dogs can injure a leg simply by running and playing. An injury can occur when they jump off a bed or sofa or other elevated places. Sometimes, the vet will recommend rest and stabilization of the injured leg. In more serious situations, a dog may require surgery. In either circumstance, a dog leg brace is going to play a large role in keeping your pet comfortable during the healing process. A high-quality brace that provides support can play a significant role in expediting your pet’s recovery.
Extra Attention

When the activity level of an active dog is reduced to protect an injured leg, you may need to monitor your dog’s diet more carefully. It’s important that it does not put on extra pounds during the healing process. A reduction of food or a change in the type of food you feed them may be necessary. Instead of letting your dog out in the yard where it can run and possibly do further damage to the injured leg, you may need to walk it outdoors on a leash. If you have more than one dog, you may need to separate the injured dog from the other dogs while you are away from home. Even with an injury, your dog might try engaging in playtime with the other dogs. 
Special Accommodations

While your dog is wearing a brace, you need to be sure that they have a bed they can easily get on and off of.  Teaching a small dog to use a ramp to get on and off the sofa or your bed will enable it to continue its routine habits and can help prevent future injuries. If the vet instructs you to limit the amount of walking your dog does while recovering from a leg injury, you will need to place its food and water close to its sleeping area. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rabbit Reproduction

Our  doe lionhead bunny, Pippin had a first pregnancy and gave birth  to four kits on March 5th.  That's roughly 5 weeks after we brought the  two lionhead bunnies home.  We didn't even know that she was pregnant until I  discovered  her kits laying underneath her cage.  Anyway, only two of her kits survived with her first set of kits.  We named the two Lilo and Stitch , we  got to see them  grow and it was really a learning experience for us especially for our kids.  
Then on June 7th, she gave birth again  (surprise, surprise).  This time she only gave birth to two kits but  both of them did not survive.  They were both dead when I saw  them.  I thought she won't get pregnant again because we seldom let her out together with the male rabbit but she  got pregnant again and gave birth to 4 kits on July 13.

Two of them were dead when I  saw them and we thought the two will survive but they did not.  It's disappointing because we really want a white one and  every  pregnancy, she has one white but they never survived.  
I told my kids not to let Pippin out with Plumley for a while because it is disheartening seeing the kits died.
Here are a few key facts: A rabbit has a gestation period of just 28-31 days, will give birth to an average of 6-9 kits, and can get pregnant again moments after giving birth.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Heckin Happy Puppers: Keeping Your Pooch Healthy and Content

Our dogs have tell-tale ways of letting us know how they feel. The obvious one? A wagging tail. But there are also more discreet behaviors: playfulness, lack of destructive activity, sleeping belly up, a good appetite, putting on a show of exciting play when you return to the house. The list goes on. It’s important to keep an eye on your pup’s happiness and wellbeing at all times. But even if your four-legged friend seems content and happy, don’t slack. There’s always room for further improvement. Here are a few things to add to your pup’s happiness checklist.

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Walkies

Almost every dog’s favorite word tends to be the “w” one. The one you have to whisper in order to prevent them from running berserk around the house while you feebly attempt to get them into their harness and try to attach their lead. Every dog loves a walk. But it’s not just a treat. It’s a requirement. To keep your pooch happy and healthy, you need to ensure that you walk them at least once a day. This goes for any breed at almost any time (if your pup has had a surgical procedure or is ill, consult your vet and follow their instructions regarding walks and exercise). So get your walking boots and venture out, even if it is pouring down with rain. It’s the least you can do for the furry little bundle of joy.

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Treats

Second to “walkies”? Treats! Just like us, pups love chowing down on their favorite snack after a long walk, in front of the television or, well, at any time really. Young puppies generally can’t have treats, so check packets for a recommended age before feeding them any. Certain puppy orientated snacks are out there on the market, so check them out and allow your pup a few when they reach the right age. As time goes by and your pooch matures, you’ll soon learn to know their preferred textures, flavors and brands. Some will prefer biscuits, some will like fresh meat treats and some will like paste treats in a hollow toy. These require a little extra effort to get out, making the treat all the sweeter once they’ve earned it. Try out healthy treats for dogs too! Some of these will help to clean your dog’s teeth, improve their breath and control plaque and tartar build up in their mouths.

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Grooming

Your dog will have specific grooming requirements depending on their breed. Short haired dogs tend to require less regular grooming. Their hair generally sheds in a kind of self-cleaning process. So you will only really need to bathe them every now and then, or when they manage to roll in muddy puddles. Use dog shampoo, as human shampoo often contains harsh chemicals that may irritate your pooch’s sensitive skin. Long haired breeds and non-moulting breeds will often need to visit the groomers regularly. These professionals will be able to trim and cut their fur properly and safely, comb out any tangles or knots and give your dogs special treatments to soothe their skin. Remember that all dogs should have a checkup with the vet regularly. While you’re there, check whether they need their claws clipped or anal glands emptied.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed: Keeping A Cat Happy

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Cats are very complex and emotional creatures. Like humans, they need to have a good balance of different things in their life to make them happy. Without them, conditions like stress and depression can take over. And, this is no way to raise a pet. Unfortunately, far too many cats are allowed into this state. But, getting out of it will be much harder. To help you with this, this post will be going through some of the considerations you should be making to give your cat a happier life. So, now, you just have to start working on it.

One of the biggest issues a lot of pet owners face is time. And, when it comes to owning a cat, you need to have a surprising amount of time. The cat’s people have at home are typically very social creatures. Naturally, they will spend a lot of time with members of their own species. When you place them into your home, though, they have to replace their time spend with other cats with time spent with you. It’s recommended that you spend at least an hour a day playing a young cat. Alongside this, you should also give them regular stroking and fussing sessions so that they know how good they are. If you apply this sort of effort, you will notice a huge improvement in your cat’s moods and behavior. They will be happier. And, more importantly, they will be tired. With their need for attention satisfied, they will have no reason to do naughty things.

Now, it’s time to consider something possibly even more important than the attention you give your cat. Cat food is specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a cat when the right amount is used. But, eating the same food each day is very boring, even for a cat. So, it’s a good idea to try and give them some variety in their diet. Sometimes, you will be able to do this with their food alone. But, if you have no choice but to give them the same food each day, it could be time to give them something extra. Natural pet treats are becoming easier and easier to find. With the right product, your cat will be eating very healthily. Giving an animal treats is a great way to make them happy for a short period.

Quality of life comes into both of the sections above. But, there are also some other aspects of a cat’s living you should consider. Before you get a cat, you should make sure you have the space for one. Cats love to go outside to explore and play, so a garden away from busy roads could be best. Along with this, you should also make sure that you have enough space for your cat to run through your home. Cats are very energetic and excitable animals. So, you have to make sure that your home caters to this sort of lifestyle before you bring a cat into your home.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start putting more effort into the love and care you give your cat. Most animals need this sort of work done for them. So, whichever pet you choose, you will have a lot of work to do.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Coveted Cat Translation Dictionary

If there’s any problem with cat ownership, it’s that your cat can’t talk to you. Sure, they can communicate with purring and meowing, but they can’t be specific. However, there are a few ways to understand what your fur baby is trying to tell you. Unfortunately, since their faces aren’t as expressive as canines, their communication can be subtler than other animals.
Your cat’s body language can tell you a lot, much like with people. If you’re scared, you naturally try and make yourself look smaller, in the hopes that nobody will notice you. It’s exactly the same in the feline world. So, if your cat’s trying to make itself look smaller, such as by ‘cringing’, or having its ears flat to its head, then something’s scaring it. It means the same thing as when they’ve backed themselves into a corner. This is pretty much the number one reason as to why people get scratched or bitten: they’ve tried to handle their cat when it’s scared, and it’s lashed out.  
However, when cats are angry about something, they try and make themselves look bigger and more intimidating. So, if your cat’s back is arched, and it has puffed its tail out like a bottle brush, then it’s furious! Usually, this also suggests aggression as well. They’re just like people: if they get angry, they’ll lash out. If your cat’s angry, the pupils of their eyes will narrow, whereas they dilate when they’re scared.
Because cats can’t talk about specific things that are bothering them, a lot of us are often surprised when we find that our cats have fleas. However, there are a few signs that your cat will give you that will tell you if they’ve got fleas. For one thing, your cat might be more restless than usual. Can you blame it, if it’s got fleas all over it? Luckily, a flea collar, or any kind of flea treatment for cats will clear the problem up. However, it’s still good to know the symptoms; if your cat has fleas, it’s going to scratch itself more than usual, bite parts of its coat, or shake its head excessively.
If your kitty is grooming itself to excess, then it’s usually trying to tell you one of three things: it’s anxious about something, it’s in pain, or has a skin irritation. If you can narrow down the reason why, and sort it out, then your cat will be much happier as a result. Over-grooming can lead to bald patches, skin damage, and even tail amputation, if the problem is particularly severe. If you cat’s biting its tail, then it’s generally trying to tell you that something is irritating it there, and you should visit a vet as soon as you can.

So, cats aren’t that mysterious. They still communicate with us humans (even if they do think that we’re big kittens), and if you can understand them, then keeping your cat and home in harmony should be the easiest thing to do.

Caring For Your Feline

It’s takes a lot of patience to prepare your children for a new pet and welcome it into your family. You have to do your research into different breeds, and determine which kind of furry companion would best fit into your family dynamic. However, you also have to learn how to keep the newest member of your family, the beloved cat, happy and healthy. Here are a few basic ways you can make sure that your new pet is as happy and healthy as the rest of your family.  
Flea medication
Persistent itchiness is only one small reason why pet owners should be vigilant against fleas and ticks. Fleas can infect your beloved pup with tapeworms, lyme disease, or even Bartonella (usually known as Cat Scratch Fever), which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Some of these diseases can even be passed on to you and anyone else living with you. The best thing to do is try to avoid these altogether by getting flea collars for cats to defend against fleas. However, you should also take your pet to the vet if you suspect there might be something seriously wrong with them.
Diet
Meat is the foundation of a healthy cat’s diet, so it should always be their main meal of the day. You shouldn’t try to feed your cat too much kibble, because chances are there is nothing fresh about it anymore. Dry food is very heavily processed which includes being subjected to high temperatures for a long time resulting in alteration and destruction of nutrients. It’s also often contaminated with bacteria, fungal mycotoxins, storage mites/cockroaches and their feces, and more. If you’re in a hurry, feed them canned food instead. You absolutely should not feed it a vegetarian diet either. Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, and lean deli meats are a great way to give them the protein they need for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system. Remember to keep a bowl of fresh water within their reach so they can quench their thirst.
Grooming
Cat owners must notice the amount of times their feline friend grooms himself throughout the day; cats actually spend 50 percent of their awake-time self-grooming. Relieve them of their duties by picking up a brush and grooming them yourself. Not only does the comb/brush feel good like an all-over massage, it keeps fur mat-free, skin clean, and cuts down on hairballs that can develop in the digestive tract. However, because cats already do most of their grooming themselves, they might not see the brush as a friend. The key to getting a cat to cooperate with brushing is connecting brushing with happy events, such as brushing them before dinner.
Litterbox
As inconvenient as it may be for you, it’s not a good idea to put the litterboxes in a hidden corner. Cats prefer to do their business where they can see everything around them, because that’s how it’s done in the wild.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rabbit House for our Four Lion Head Bunnies

When we got  the two lion head bunnies back in  January, we didn't anticipate that we will have new babies five weeks after that, whew.  Pippin (our doe bunny)  actually had four kits but two did not survived.  
I am not sure if it was the first time  she gave birth but we assumed  it was because  she seemed to not know  what to do.  She took care of them really good though and we did what we can to help  her out.  We named the two that lived, Lilo and Stitch.  A month after giving birth to the first babies, she got pregnant again and gave birth to two kits but they unfortunately died.
A post shared by Chubskulit Rose (@chubskulitrose) on
Since we have four now, we thought it would be  appropriate to make them a proper house .  My husband and daughter  built a new house for them.
We used to have two bunnies at the old house  so we also built them a house but it was smaller than this one that they newly built.  We tore it down when our bunnies died and  thought we will never have bunnies again because losing them was painful.  However, when we saw the lion heads, we couldn't resist.
The good thing is, these two love doing projects together so a house for them isn't a problem\.  It is just a little challenging to keep them inside during the winter but  our basement is  pretty big so they will have room.
It took a while before the project got done but it eventually got finished.
We couldn't figured out what to put underneath at first so I  used  some cardboard to trap all their waste.  Then we went to Home Depot and found some of these Utility tubs and thought it was  a perfect size  to  put under their shelters.
The cedar wood chips  helps in killing the odor of the  urine and  poop.
So now, cleaning their  waste is  easier with those  utility  tubs in there.
We used a thick  plywood for the roofing because  we didn't have  shingles.  We treated it  so that when it rains, the water  will roll off.  Whenever there's a storm, we  put a tarp over it so they won't get wet.  Now that our fence project is almost finished, we let them run around inside the backyard which they love.  They also love to nibble on my vegetable garden lol.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Manage Acid Reflux in Dogs

Acid reflux is fairly common in dogs and it is treatable. It occurs when there is a build-up of acid in the stomach which can be caused by obesity, eating inappropriate foods (usually human foods) or high blood calcium.

Here are some of the symptoms of acid reflux:
·         Gurgling and burping sounds
·         Vomiting
·         Bad breath
·         Whining when eating
·         Demonstrating discomfort when eating
·         Wheezing
·         Excessive salivation

If your dog has some or all of these symptoms and is diagnosed with acid reflux, there are some things you can do to help treat it at home. Here are some tips.

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Small Meals
A dog with acid reflux will need to eat little and often. This is so the stomach doesn’t remain empty for long periods of time, allowing a buildup of acid to occur. You can still feed your dog dry food every few hours, but if you notice your dog vomiting after eating or drinking, you may need to change the diet while treating them for acid reflux. Food like cooked chicken, plain rice and broccoli are all hydrated foods and could be a better option for your dog. Make sure your dog has something to eat before sleeping through the night and something to eat immediately after waking.

Avoid Long Walks
When dealing with acid reflux, it’s better for your dog to have short burst of exercise, rather than prolonged ones. Dogs that have been on long walks are more likely to come back and want to drink and eat excessively. Large amounts of water or food in the stomach is likely to lead to vomiting. Dogs that go on shorter walks are less likely to be tempted to gorge on drinks and meals. So, instead of going for one long walk per day, do two short walks- once in the morning and once in the evening.

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Allow Your Dog to Rest
Just like any other canine illness, acid reflux can take its toll on a dog’s energy levels. Rest promotes self-healing so it’s important you allow your dog to rest when needed. You may notice slight lethargy and there may be changes to your dog’s breathing as it sleeps. If any of your dog’s behaviour starts to worry you, it’s important you seek advice from a professional, like a Kotara Vet. A vet will be able to tell you if there are any underlying issues that could make the condition worse.

Honey
Although it’s important to get the okay from your vet first, honey is often recommended for dogs with acid reflux. Just one teaspoon is enough to coat the oesophagus and provide protection from gastric acids. Feed the teaspoon of honey to your dog before an evening meal and you could start to see an improvement. This condition can take months to resolve so honey is an ideal solution for relief in the interim.

The most important thing to do is monitor your dog. As a dog owner you’ll have a sixth sense about what your dog needs, so go with your instincts.

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