six years

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Many tear replacements can be used in dogs and some last longer than others so will require much more frequent use than others so it is important to check specific types with a vet or veterinary ophthalmologist in order to get the optimum dosing schedule and best results. Given he is only 6years I would also be anxious to diagnose the underlying condition resulting in the need to medicate as some of these conditions can be treatable and indeed reversible in dogs if treated early

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Keeping your pup`s eyes healthy and clean can help to prevent infection and keep their vision clear. While you may be tempted to use human eye drops on your dog in a pinch, it`s important to remember that these products are not designed for use on canine eyes and could actually do more harm than good.
Genteal Gel, Refresh tears, and Tears Naturale are all good choices. You can flush the eye with the eye wash and then wipe the eye with a soft cloth. If you are using artificial tears, apply 3 – 4 drops in each eye and allow your pet to blink.
Artificial Tears helps reduce irritation due to “dry eye” syndrome in dogs and cats. The sterile eye drops and ointment are designed to provide quick, soothing lubrication that gives your pet immediate relief and keeps the eyes moist.
Any ocular medicine you find for humans will be pH balanced for the eye and this balance is the same for a cat`s eye, so you can use human eye drops for cats as it should not cause irritation unless there is a rare sensitivity to some ingredient in the medication.
Burt`s Bees Eye Drops for Dogs – Best Overall

This gentle eye wash mimics your dog`s tears and flushes out any debris, while the natural ingredients provide a safe and effective cleanse. This product is also pH balanced, and its mild formula is free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals.

Rinse your dog`s eye and eye area with simple saline solution, which can be purchased from a veterinarian or pharmacy, or made with a teaspoon of salt water in a cup of warm water. Carefully instill into the corner of your dog`s eye and dip a cotton ball in the solution and wipe away discharge from around the eye.
Any type of medicated human eye drop is off-limits for dogs.

Some saline or lubricating drops for humans may be okay but always check with your veterinarian before administering any product made for humans to your pup.

In some cases, giving your dog only filtered or bottled water can cut down on tear staining, so this may be worth a try, too. The good news is that in most cases, tear staining is only cosmetic, so you don`t have to do anything about it as long as your pup is healthy.
A new study says dogs produce emotional tears similar to how humans do : NPR. A new study says dogs produce emotional tears similar to how humans do A new study says that dogs produce emotional tears similar to how humans do. But not everyone in the veterinary community is convinced.
It may be better not to use certain kinds of artificial tears with preservatives if you`re wearing contact lenses. There are special products made for contact lens wearers. Check the packaging for information on use with contact lenses. Preservative-free products often come in single-use containers.
Generic Name: polyvinyl alcohol

This product may contain 1 or more of the following ingredients: carboxymethylcellulose, dextran, glycerin, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), polysorbate, polyvinyl alcohol, povidone, or propylene glycol, among others.

White Vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar: Add a teaspoon of distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your dog`s water daily to increase the acidity of your dog`s body pH. Not only will it take care of tear stains, the alkalinity of your dog`s body will help to prevent bacteria or yeast infections from recurring.
Although visiting a vet is always recommended, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of a dog eye infection. These include chamomile tea bags, saline solution, and plantain or calendula tincture.
Vaseline- Once your pet`s tears have been cleaned, apply a small amount of Vaseline to the area just under the eye to prevent the tears from sitting in the same area and staining.
The only safe human eye drops for dogs are saline eye drops and artificial tears. And, even then, you should discuss why you want to use them with your veterinarian before administering the drops. If you just need to flush out your dog`s eyes to remove a crusty discharge, warm tap water will do the trick.
RenaSan Antiseptic Eye Drops are effective eye care for all your pets and animals. This revolutionary natural drop kills 99.9999% of all germs on contact. A powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal solution and is gentle enough to use in the eyes.
Medications used to treat conjunctivitis include topical gentamicin, tobramycin, oxytetracycline, ciprofloxacin, and triple-antibiotic ophthalmic ointments/drops. Some dogs will need topical and/or oral medications containing anti-inflammatories such as prednisolone or dexamethasone (both corticosteroids).
Human shampoo can cause irritation to your dog`s skin, as they have a different pH level to humans. It can also increase their vulnerability to parasites and viruses. You should make a conscious effort to keep dog shampoo stocked at home and only use human or baby shampoo in emergency situations.
High mineral content in your dog`s drinking water can also contribute to tear stains—staining around the mouth can tip you off. If that`s the case, give your pup fresh, filtered water instead of tap. Low-quality ingredients in your dog`s food like fillers can cause allergic reactions that result in excess tearing, too.
Mix a tablespoon of peroxide with an 8 ounce glass of water and dip a cotton ball into the solution for a homemade daily removal concoction, then dab solution on the fur around the eyes before rinsing it off with warm water.
BLINK® TEARS UNIQUE FORMULA IS AVAILABLE IN PRESERVATIVE-FREE, STERILE, SINGLE-USE VIALS.
Preservative-free eye drops.

This type has fewer additives and is generally recommended if you apply artificial tears more than four times a day, or if you have moderate or severe dry eyes. Preservative-free eye drops may come in single-dose vials.

Dogs can cry tears of joy when they are reunited with their owners, a small study has found. Canines may be genuinely thrilled when they see their human companions after a long period of absence, Japanese researchers have said. The tears are believed to deepen the bond between dogs and their owners.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Can I use any OTC liquid tears for my Shih Tzu? Vet perscibed with polyvinyl alcohol 1.4% sterile Lubrifor remainder of dogs like he is only six years
ANSWER : A. Many tear replacements can be used in dogs and some last longer than others so will require much more frequent use than others so it is important to check specific types with a vet or veterinary ophthalmologist in order to get the optimum dosing schedule and best results. Given he is only 6years I would also be anxious to diagnose the underlying condition resulting in the need to medicate as some of these conditions can be treatable and indeed reversible in dogs if treated early

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I desensitize my dog to squirrels and stray cats in the neighborhood?
ANSWER : A. It depends on the goal that you have in mind. I am going to assume that you would prefer that your dog not chase squirrels or stray cats in the yard/street. In this case, your options include: (1) training your dog on a “Leave it ” cue using positive reinforcement methods, (2) training your dog not to pull on its leash when it sees a squirrel/stray cat, and (3) training your dog to perform a more desirable behavior when it sees a squirrel/cat.
Training your dog on a cued “leave it” command is useful because it will give you the ability to tell your dog to stay away from any number of undesirable objects on your command. Training your dog to perform a more desireable behavior when it sees a squirrel or cat will substitute a behavior you find acceptable (sitting, laying down, coming to the door, etc.) with a behavior you dislike. Your dog can still react, just in a positive way. If your dog pulls on the leash every time you see a squirrel/cat, training not to pull will make your walk safer and more pleasant.
The ideal training method to use with dogs, or any animal for that matter, is positive reinforcement training, particularly a method called “clicker- training.” The basic concept of positive reinforcement training is to pair a reward (reinforcement) with a behavior you want to increase in frequency. In other words, when your dog performs the behavior you desire, it receives an award, which reinforces the desired behavior so you get more of that behavior. There are many excellent books in stores or on-line that describe positive reinforcement training in detail and many give step-by-step instructions for training common commands like “leave it”. Look for books that specifically mention positive reinforcement training or clicker-training. You can also take dog training classes to learn the techniques, find a mentor who already uses clicker-training, or request a consult from one of the pet experts on this site to guide you.

Q. Which flea and tick drops are the best and why?
ANSWER : A. Your question is a good one, and unfortunately the answers are going to differ based on who you ask. Many vets are seeing resistance to Frontline, which has been the go-to product for many of us for many years. It contains the active ingredient Fipronil, which is very safe and typically extremely effective. I use it on my dogs and never see fleas or ticks. However other vets will tell you in their areas, for whatever reason, they are seeing fleas and ticks on dogs and cats on which this product was used.

Another reason opinions differ is that some people like to give an oral product, and some like to put a topical product directly on the skin. That’s a matter of personal preference mostly. Bravecto, as mentioned below, is one of those products. Most people find it safe and effective. It uses a different process that Frontline to kill fleas and ticks.

In general the products you buy over-the-counter are likely going to be less expensive and less effective than what you get from a vet. I think the reason is that the more expensive products contain newer insecticides, and likely less resistance to these products has built up in the flea and tick population but also they are maybe less “proven”, so it’s important for a vet to be involved in the use of the product in order to ensure that there won’t be a negative reaction to using it.

If I lived in an area where there was Lyme disease (in the US that’s the northeast and upper midwest) I’d most definitely add a tick collar to my standard oral or topical flea and tick prevention. AND I’d search both of my dogs everyday for ticks. It’s because nothing you buy will be 100% effective, and Lyme disease can be a very serious problem.

If you want to talk further and talk more specifically about where you live and what products you’re considering, I’d be happy to do a consult with you. Nobody here is paid to recommend products, but we do develop preferences based on what we use on our own pets and in our practices.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. How do I teach my dog to sit still enough and not move his head while I clip on the gentle leader?
ANSWER : A. Most dogs HATE the gentle leader, and it’s not at all surprising. Would you want something foreign on your face? It’s an uncomfortable training tool, and no dog enjoys wearing it. If you are looking to have your dog behave better on-leash, you should consider tossing out that gentle leader, and using a front hooking harness like the Sensible http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness, or the Sensation http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your dog, and put you in control in a positive, and gentle way. Any time your dog pulls, he is redirected until he is facing you. You can practically walk your dog with your pinky.

I dislike the gentle leader because it can cause neck injuries in an avid puller/lunger. You also can’t ever hook a long-lead to the gentle leader and allow your dog to run around because it would break his neck. Another thing I dislike about it, is it discourages sniffing the ground during walks. When your dog attempts to sniff, and the leash is short, his nose is redirected upwards. When you trip on the leash, the head is jerked around and the nose is directed upwards. Sniffing during walks is extremely important. Sniffing = mental stimulation, which will tire your dog out more during your walks. The more your dog lags, or forges, the less he can sniff the ground, and the more frustrated he becomes.

If you’re dead set on using the head halti.. you should be using treats to hold his attention. Place the head halti on the floor, reward him for sniffing it, pick it up, treat him, put it near his face, treat him, lure his nose through the loop, lots of treats, take the head halti off, more treats, lure his nose through again, more treats. Take baby steps going forwards AND backwards so the “game” of getting the halti on isn’t always getting more difficult.