Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure My Cat’s Ear Infection?

Proponents of home remedies say that apple cider vinegar is a practically a miracle cure-all, with the ability to mitigate or cure everything from fleas to urinary tract infections (taken internally).

But just like with many home remedies, there haven’t been many scientific studies that prove the claims are true.

So when it comes to ear infections in cats, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of apple cider vinegar.

What Does The Science Show?

veterinarian looking at cat ear infectionAccording to Medical News Today, at this time there isn’t any research on whether apple cider vinegar can help specifically with ear infections. But there have been studies (on humans) that indicate apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial properties – i.e., its application slows or stops the growth of bacteria. Researchers have found that this may be due to its acetic acid content.

And bacteria or yeast (fungus) is the most common cause of ear infections in cats.

What Is A Cat Ear Infection?

Ear infections are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the cat’s outer, middle or inner ears (otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna). You can suspect an ear infection is bothering your cat if you see:

  • Your cat shaking her head or pawing/scratching her ears, face and neck
  • Black or yellowish discharge in the ears
  • There’s a bad odor coming from the ears
  • Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Your cat doesn’t hear as well
  • Your cat tilts her head, loses her balance or is disoriented

However, other things like ear mites or allergies can also cause similar symptoms – so visit the vet to be sure you have the right diagnosis and get the proper treatment.

Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Part Of The Treatment?

apple cider vinegarBecause of its antimicrobial properties, many home remedy proponents say apple cider vinegar is okay to use to help treat bacterial or fungal ear infections in your cat. This is an external treatment (not ingested). They recommend adding it to homemade ear drops and/or combining it with rubbing alcohol and applying it with a cotton ball to your cat’s ears.

But there are some risks associated with apple cider vinegar that you need to consider:

  • Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and strong concentrations of it can hurt the sensitive skin of your cat’s ear. Consequently, you have to dilute it – and even then, it can still burn tissue or damage your cat’s hair cells and follicles.
  • Rubbing the skin while you’re applying it to your cat’s ears can cause additional irritation and damage – possibly leading to a secondary infection, which leads to more scratching and perpetuates the cycle.
  • Even those who believe it’s a good solution say you should talk to your vet first and use it sparingly.

Is There A Better Solution?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayYes! Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for helping your cat get rid of an ear infection:

  • Its anti-microbial properties create an environment which makes it impossible for bacteria and fungus to survive or grow.
  • It can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed.
  • It’s non-toxic, so you can use it regularly and frequently with no side effects.
  • It is safe for use around the eye (which is important, as few cats sit still when their ears are being handled)
  • Unlike apple cider vinegar, it has no smell and doesn’t burn on application, so your cat will tolerate it much more easily.

One additional (and huge) benefit: No matter what the cause of your cat’s ear problem (infection, mites, allergies, etc.), Banixx will help relieve the itch, irritation, wounds and scabs caused by scratching the ear.

Just spray Banixx onto a cotton ball until moist, and gently apply it to the affected ear(s). The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx to work. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. You should see positive results within 48 hours.

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What Should I Do About A Rash On My Dog’s Belly?

You’re on the couch gently scratching your pooch when suddenly you realize she has a rash, bumps or acne-type lesions on her belly. Uh-oh – what does this mean? And how can you help her get rid of them?

Causes of Dog Belly Rashes

The four most typical causes of a belly rash are:

  • Allergic or contact dermatitis
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Parasites like fleas or mites
  • Heat rash

Allergic or Contact Dermatitis

dog scratching and biting himself

Your dog may have eaten or inhaled something like mold, or pollen, or come in contact with poison ivy, fertilizer, road salt, hay, or other irritant. The rash is often itchy, so your dog will try to relieve the sensation with excessive scratching, biting or licking. And because it’s an allergic reaction, multiple other symptoms can shortly plague your dog, including watery eyes, sneezing, paw-licking or biting, diarrhea and vomiting, and hair loss.

It appears that certain dog breeds have a higher risk of suffering from allergies, including terriers, German Shepherds, Standard poodles, golden retrievers, and breeds with flat faces like the Pug, Bull-Dog and Boston Terrier.

Clearly the best way to avoid getting a rash as a result of these allergies is to avoid the allergen as much as possible. As a preventative, vacuum frequently, bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo, change her diet, etc. Moreover, If you feel the rash is the result of an external source such as poison ivy or other plants, avoid those areas where those plants may be growing.

If the rash persists, consult with your veterinarian. She may be able to pinpoint more clearly what the allergen is – or might even diagnose another condition altogether (see below).

For more on treating dog skin allergies, click here.

Bacterial or fungal infections

veteranarian neosporin alternativeSometimes the cause of a rash is a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection, which gets started as the result of a cut or scrape, too much moisture, or other trauma to the skin. These infections usually cause lesions that look like pimples, and can also show up as crusty, scaly, flaky skin – all of which may be itchy or painful. Your dog could also suffer hair loss and inflammation – and be entirely miserable.

Ringworm is a type of fungus infection that shows up as circular lesions that are scabby and red. Be careful – this particular type of infection is contagious and can be passed on to your other pets – and YOU!

A visit to your Vet may result in her taking skin samples or skin scrapings to see if the infection is fungal or bacterial, and then prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-fungal medications if appropriate.

One type of bacterial infection that can look like small, pus-filled bumps on your dog’s belly is impetigo. This usually affects puppies rather than older dogs. The bacteria staphylococcus causes patches of infection to appear in hairless sections of the stomach. The lesion is filled with pus that oozes and then crusts over. It can be very painful. It is also contagious, so keep an eye on the health of the skin of your other animals. To cure it, you’ll need to use chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, or benzoyl peroxide two times per day. But, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to make sure you’re on the right track and using the right products.

For more on bacterial or fungal infections, see our page here.

Fleas, Mites and Ticks

dog ear mites and fleasYour dog’s belly rash may be the result of bites from fleas, mites, ticks and other insects. Flea saliva is an especially potent cause of allergic reaction in dogs – leading to everything from itchy red bumps to hot spots and hair loss.

Controlling those pesky fleas is your number one priority if you want to prevent misery in your dog. If your dog is left untreated for fleas, they will take up residence in your home and even eventually bite you! There is a wide variety of flea shampoos and topical or systemic treatments that are available from your veterinarian. Also, be sure to wash your dog’s bedding with a mild bleach solution (and clear water rinse). And remember, it’s not just in the summertime – flea control is something you may need to do year-round.

If the bites are caused by mites, you may be looking at a case of mange, which can cause a rash on your dog’s skin, including the belly and groin. You will need to go to the vet to get an anti-parasitic medication to kill the mites. Mites may be contagious so act quickly to determine what type of mite is involved. Treatment is very simple and quickly achieved for your dog. Again, it’s a good idea to wash your dog’s bedding with a bleach solution followed by a clear water rinse.

Heat Rash

dog heat rashJust like with impetigo (see Bacterial Infections above), heat rash is also caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. It looks like a red rash on your dog’s belly, and can also appear on the back, folds of skin, under the tail and neck and near her ears. Hot, humid weather conditions can make it flare up.

Heat rash starts off as a skin irritation that causes your dog to scratch a lot. Then it progresses from a rash to boils, pimples, scabs and a nasty smell. If your dog is scratching constantly, this can also develop into a secondary infection, so treat the heat rash as quickly as possible to prevent it from morphing into something more serious. Your vet should be involved to make sure the diagnosis is correct. If it is heat rash, cool your dog off by applying cold compresses or ice packs (ice cubes wrapped in a wash cloth) to the area for about 10 minutes. Try to do this several times a day until the condition eases.

Special Soothing and Healing Agent for the Rash on Your Dog’s Belly

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayWhether the rash is due to allergies, parasites, infections or heat rash, there is one sure-fire way to help heal the damage and soothe the irritation: Banixx Pet Care, which works on contact and usually relieves the itch within a day or two (results might vary from case to case).

Banixx not only eases the itching, it also helps resolve the infection, as its anti-fungal/antibacterial formula eliminates the environment in which bacteria or fungus can grow.

Simply apply Banixx 2-3 times daily to your dog’s rash, being sure to saturate your dog’s skin, even massaging it into your dog’s skin. It is non-toxic, so if your dog licks it off after application, it will not harm him, though you will need to reapply so Banixx has a good opportunity to work.

Banixx Pet Care is:

  • Odor-free
  • Painless
  • Steroid and antibiotic-free
  • Not sticky or oily
  • Gentle on the skin, rash, eruptions
  • Proven effective

You may decide to follow this up with Banixx Wound Care cream that is not only anti-bacterial and anti-fungal but, contains moisturizing, rejuvenating, soothing marine collagen that smoothes onto the skin as an effective medicated band-aid.

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How To Tell If Your Cat Has An Ear Infection

Cats are lucky – they don’t get nearly as many ear infections as dogs. But when they do get an infection, you need to act on it with quick – and correct – treatment. The reason for this is that cats, generally, are more stoic, so the ear infection may be quite advanced before you become aware of it. This means that you possibly have a much shorter window for a successful outcome, as compared with that for dog ear infections.

cat ears with infectionIt’s not really possible to tell just by observing your cat, if she has an ear infection or another issue with her ears. But there are certain symptoms that indicate a trip to the vet is required to get a proper diagnosis:

  • Shakes head or paws/scratches ears, face and neck
  • Black or yellowish discharge in the ears (discharge that looks like coffee grounds is usually a sign of ear mites)
  • Nasty odor
  • Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Loss of hearing
  • Tilting of the head
  • Loss of balance or disorientation
  • Irritability or odd behavior (e.g., hiding for long periods of time when that’s not her usual behavior)

Possible Causes of Your Cat’s Ear Infection

Ear infections in cats are usually the result of other infectious conditions affecting your furry friend. Some examples are:

  • Ear mites, which are especially a problem for kittens and are highly contagious for all of your pets. [For more on telling the difference between ear mites and ear infections, see this article] link to appropriate article on Banixx.com
  • Overgrowth of yeast, the most common cause of fungal ear infections in cats.
  • Allergies, usually stemming from food or pollen/environmental issues.
  • cat ear infection home remediesBacterial infections that could develop as the result of a wound or scratch.
  • Growths in the ear canal, including thick hair, tumors/polyps, etc.
  • Ruptured ear drum.
  • Foreign bodies in the ear canal, such as burrs or grass.
  • Immune suppressing diseases like FIV or feline leukemia virus. Cats with diabetes, allergies, or weak immune systems are more susceptible to ear infections.
  • Improper ear cleaning.

Until you identify the cause of your cat’s ear infection, you may be risking more serious conditions like deafness and facial paralysis, as well as chronic recurrences. As soon as you notice signs of ear discomfort, take the cat to a veterinarian, who can prescribe antibiotics, anti-parasitics, anti-fungals or other medications, depending on the results of the examination.

Cat Ear Infection Home Remedy Options

  • cat ear infection home remedyBe vigilant in checking your cat’s ear to make sure the inside of the earflap is pink. Make sure that there’s very little brown waxy build-up, that the canal is clear, and there is no odor. Any changes to this healthy condition may indicate an infection is getting started – and you can nip it in the bud before it gets too far.
  • Keep your cats ears clean. Your vet can show you the proper way to clean them and NEVER put anything such as a cotton swab or Q-tip inside your cat’s ears.
  • Use Banixx Pet Care spray to:
    • Help clear up any fungal or bacterial infection
    • Gently heal damaged tissue (caused by scratching, cuts, wounds, etc.)
    • Keep your kitty’s ears clean

Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for cleaning, treating and nurturing your cat’s ears.  Cats are not fans of sprays so it’s best to wet a small cotton ball with Banixx solution and clean your cat’s ears this way. Always make sure that the Banixx is room temperature; cats don’t like cold liquid in their ears…but then, who does? To be sure, simply run hot water over the Banixx bottle for a few minutes to warm it. It’s non-toxic, has no smell and doesn’t burn.

Moreover, Banixx can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed – and there is no downside to using it frequently and regularly. When applying, make sure that the inside surface of the ear is well moistened so that Banixx makes good contact. Banixx works on contact. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. Results should be seen in a couple of days. But, do contemplate, Banixx is merely a topical solution. If your cat’s ear infection has already become severe, Veterinary intervention, via systemic antibiotics or similar, will surely be required for a good outcome.

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Cat Ear Mites vs Ear Wax

Cats have an amazingly sharp sense of hearing. They can hear sounds about three times better than we humans can. Your little kitty purring in your lap has the instincts and capabilities of a wild cat – she can detect the minutest movements of a burrowing mole, know when a predator is approaching, or hear when a bird is cheeping across the street.

So of course you want your cat’s ears to be perfect and healthy. When you notice some brown, waxy buildup in her ears, you naturally ask: “Is this normal, or is it the sign of a problem?”

Ear wax is also called cerumen. Just like with your own ears, it’s natural for a little bit to build up over time. A normal inner ear and ear canal should be light pink in color. A small amount of light/medium brown ear wax is fine.

When Cat Ear Wax Is Not Normal

Check your cat’s ears regularly. If you notice any of the following, there may be a problem you need to address:

  • cat ear mitesExcess ear wax
  • Discharge that looks like coffee grounds
  • Red and/or swollen ears
  • Shaking the head
  • Scratching the ears, head and neck
  • Foul odor
  • Head tilting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Squinting or abnormal eye movements
  • Difficulty walking
  • Trouble hearing

Ear Wax vs. Cat Ear Mites

Sometimes something that looks like a brown wax buildup in your cat’s ear can signal a bigger issue – ear mites, the most common cause of cat ear problems.

Ear mites are tiny parasites that usually require a microscope to see. They feed off the wax in your cat’s ear and actually stimulate the wax-producing glands inside the ear. They are more typically seen in kittens and puppies due to their weaker and developing immune systems. While the mites may be tiny, their presence can cause inflammation and irritation, and even lead to more severe ear infections (see below).

cat ear infection

The discharge looks like black, dry coffee grounds and consists of ear wax, blood and mites.

To be sure of your diagnosis of ear mites, take your cat to the vet for an examination. The vet may thoroughly clean your cat’s ears and prescribe medications that will eliminate the ear mites.

In addition to being disgusting, ear mites are also highly contagious for your other pets. So you’ll need to get all your animals checked and treated. Plus you’ll have to clean your cat’s environment, including washing pet bedding in hot water with bleach and drying it in a hot dryer, as well as vacuuming all common areas thoroughly and discarding the vacuum bags, etc.

When Excess Ear Wax Signals An Ear Infection

If you’re noticing surplus ear wax, it may be caused by a bacterial or fungal (yeast) infection. The most common infection is otitis externa, an infection of the outer ear canal, and is usually caused by the inflammation and irritation engendered by ear mites. If you don’t treat the otitis externa, the infection may move to the middle and inner ears – and then you can get into problems with damage to the ear drum, sometimes resulting in deafness.

cat ear infectionEar infections are highly irritating and even extremely painful for your cat. An infection due to a yeast build-up has a nasty smell, is especially itchy and often accompanied by a brownish/grey greasy discharge.

The symptoms of an ear infection can look very similar to the symptoms for ear mites. That’s why you should see a vet for the proper diagnosis and treatment, which might include antibiotics, topical medications and surgery.

Treating Your Cat’s Ear Problems

If your cat shows signs of an ear infection, ear mites, or just excess wax buildup, take him/her to a vet for a diagnosis, especially if you notice redness, swelling and a bad smell. The vet can take a swab of the ear canal, diagnose the problem and prescribe the proper treatment. For a bacterial ear infection, the vet may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics are not effective for fungal infections. If she has ear mites, the vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of them swiftly.

cat ear problemsBanixx Pet Care is frequently used as a home remedy to soothe and heal the infection and irritation caused by the biting mites. If your cat has a yeast/fungal infection, Banixx is a powerful infection fighter that can be used to quickly combat the yeast/fungus infection and as a regular ear cleaner to prevent recurrence.

Banixx Pet Care spray can be used in conjunction with any formulation prescribed by your veterinarian.

Simply spray Banixx onto the cotton ball until moistened (not dripping), and gently apply 2-3 times daily to the affected ear(s). Banixx works on contact, but soak-time is important. The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx for optimal results. Be sure to gently massage Banixx into your cat’s ear. Results should be seen in a couple of days. And never stick anything in the ears, like cotton swabs, to clean them!

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Why Is My Cat Peeing On My Bed?

It’s a shock the first time she does it – and a worry when she keeps doing it! Plus it’s definitely smelly!! Why would she do this to you?

Any time a cat urinates anywhere other than the litter box in your home, such as on your clothes or carpet, your immediate response should be to see if there’s a medical problem. The vet should do a physical exam and diagnostic tests, including urinalysis, to see if the cause could be one of the following issues.

Top Reasons Why Cats Pee On Beds

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

cat on bed peeingUTI symptoms include inflammation of the affected tissue and difficulty with urination, including urinating outside the litter box. To diagnose a urinary tract infection, there should be bacteria in a urine sample or the vet should be able to grow bacterial colonies via a urine culture. Antibiotics usually take care of the infection.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)

FIC is the diagnosis whenever the cat has lower urinary tract disease but no underlying cause is found (about 55% of cases). If a cat has recurrent UTIs after taking antibiotics, the real problem may be Feline Idiopathic Cystitis – and it is difficult to treat; your cat may experience frequent relapses. Treatment may include dietary adjustment, stress reduction techniques and medications.

Bladder Stones (Uroliths)

Uroliths must be diagnosed by the vet, who will tell you if your cat’s bladder stones are caused struvite or calcium oxalate crystals. The type of crystals determine the appropriate treatment (dietary or surgical).

Litter Box Issues

Your cat could be peeing everywhere except in the litter box because she’s having serious issues with the current litter box. Here are some issues your cat might have with the litter box that has caused her to urinate on your bed:

  • cat not peeing in litter boxShe doesn’t like the location of the box. It might be in an inconvenient spot like the basement, in a too-enclosed space or a dark space like a closet, in an area with high foot traffic or near where the dog sleeps, next to a noisy clothes dryer, or any number of reasons. Try changing the location or, simply putting another litter box in a more cat-friendly location and see which one she prefers.
  • She needs more litter boxes. Do you have another cat? Maybe she doesn’t want to share. This is not at all unusual with cats. Have a litter box for each cat, plus one more on each level of the home.
  • She wants a clean litter box. It should be cleaned at least once a day. Most cats just don’t like to use a dirty litter box. Once a week, rinse the box out with baking soda or unscented soap. If you’re using a self-cleaning litter box and your cat starts urinating outside the box, try switching to a traditional type of litter box.
  • cat litter box problemsShe wants another type of litter box. Is it large enough? Does it have a cover that traps odors or constricts her movement within the box? Many cats do not like the claustrophobic effect of a covered litter box. You may want to experiment—move the cover so that it only partially covers a small area the litter box and see if behavior improves. If it does, you can very gradually move the cover a little bit each week. Are the sides too tall, making it hard to get in and out of? Tall sides are harder for an older cat. Does it have a plastic liner that prevents her from digging and burying her business and gets tangled up in her paws or claws?
  • She hates the cat litter. She may feel like it’s not soft enough (especially if she’s been de-clawed) or absorbent enough. Studies have shown that most cast prefer finely ground substrate, such as clumping clay litter. Many cats prefer the litter to be unscented. Remember, they smell so much better than we do! Put yourself in their paws! Try out several types of litter—there certainly is a large number of types to choose from and go with the winner. Also, most cats like the litter to be fairly shallow – 1-2 inches deep rather than deeper…who knew?

Emotional Issues

Sometimes the reason a cat pees in your bed could be more emotional than physical. Feline idiopathic cystitis is a condition caused by hormonal or chemical imbalances that result from stress or anxiety in the cat’s environment. Here are some things to consider:

  • cat and babyHas there been a major change at your house? Some examples: A new baby, a new pet, a change in your own schedule that keeps you from being home as much, or, one of the more common, moving to a new house. Any of these and other changes can trigger a feeling of insecurity, fear or anxiety – and your cat may express her unhappiness by soiling your bed.
  • Cats have excellent memories. She may remember when something happened in her litter box to upset her. So avoid using the litter box as a convenient place to trap your cat in order to give her medicine, trim her nails, punish her for unacceptable behavior, etc., as it will stay in her mind as a negative place that she wants to avoid. Note: If she had a painful experience in defecating due to constipation, that could be another reason to not like the litter box.
  • Is your cat stressed out? If you think anxiety or stress-related situations are behind your cat peeing in your bed, spend more time with her to make her feel loved and secure. Alleviate situations where she has to compete for litter box space, food and water, and other items with other pets in your house. Improve her environment by placing perches near your windows, increase the number of scratching posts, etc.

Other Assorted Issues

  • Cats Pee Where Cat Pee Is Still Present. Cat owners know that a cat will return to pee in any area that smells like urine. So…you’ll need to thoroughly clean any place where she has urinated outside the litter box, including your bed.
  • dogs keep cats off bedsMake Your Bed Uninviting. You’ll want to make it less attractive to pee in your bed. You can change your comforter to something she doesn’t find as irresistible, or cover it with something like a shower curtain (when you’re not sleeping in it) to make it feel strange and non-absorbent.
  • Change her mental image of your bed as a place to pee. Make it the place you play with her or feed her treats. The idea is to alter her perception of what the bed is for. And cats don’t usually urinate where they eat.
  • Do NOT punish your cat for peeing in the bed. It exacerbates her tendency to become anxious or insecure.
  • cat veterinarianDon’t clean up accidents with an ammonia-based cleanser. Doing so will just make it more attractive, since urine contains ammonia. Use an enzymatic cleanser designed to neutralize pet odors or apple cider vinegar is good stand-by.
  • You can always close the bedroom door and not allow the cat in. Simple but effective and can quickly restore peace, confidence and no more urine smell to your house.
  • Go back to the vet if your efforts aren’t working. Check again for a physical problem. Talk to your vet about whether it makes sense to give your cat anti-anxiety medication.

Summary

It takes a while to re-train your cat to not urinate on your bed. It could take a month or more, so be patient and creative in finding the right solution for your beloved kitty.

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7 Secrets On How To Give A Dog A Bath

Has she been rolling around in dirt? Or, in something worse? Has he been lying around lazily but still smells little stinky? Are your couch or carpets starting to smell like dog?

Some people enjoy giving their dogs a bath – especially if it’s a water-loving dog like a Lab or retriever, who delights in splashing around. Most people, however, see it as a chore, or, if you are a dog, it’s often something to dread. Dogs generally will resist and protest – after all, they think they smell just fine even if they are a bit stinky! After all who wants to smell like soap and perfume? Your dog may be one of the ones that runs away, cringes, digs in his paws and completely refuses to cooperate with bath time.

Rather than caving (i.e., taking her to a groomer and paying good money for a simple bath), here are a few simple ideas for making bath time less stressful and more fun: But, first question…

How Often Should I Give Your Dog A Bath?

dirty dogThe obvious answer is: “When he gets dirty or stinky.”

Unlike humans, most dogs get bathed relatively infrequently – from once a month to several times a year.

In a healthy dog, a lot depends on how active they are. If she spends most of her time indoors and starts to smell “doggy,” a few times a year is probably enough.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors and comes in smelling of something he rolled in – well, a bath is certainly in order. In fact, dogs benefit from the occasional bathing – it can soothe sensitive skin and facilitates the growth of hair follicles.

If your dog has a skin infection, skin allergies or hot spots, regular bathing can be part of the solution if you use an anti-microbial shampoo like Banixx Medicated shampoo, which fights common dog skin infections while rebuilding, moisturizing and strengthening the coat.

Don’t Bathe Your Dog Too Often

A word of warning: Don’t bathe for pooch too often, as excessive bathing can remove skin oil, irritate the skin, damage hair follicles and end up in a bacterial or fungal infection. If a bath is part of your dog’s medical treatment protocol, make sure you get advice from your vet as to how often to bath him.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Afraid of Taking a Bath

scared dog in tubDoesn’t it break your heart to see your dog cringe and tuck his tail between his legs every time the word “bath” is uttered? Many dogs have bad associations with the concept – so do a little work ahead of time to try to change that perception into a positive one.

Here are some ideas that should help:

  • Link the word “bath” with “treat.” Teach your dog to come to the bath and receive a treat, toy or extra bit of lovin’. Repeat the game numerous times – hopping into an empty tub each time – so he associates the bath with something good.
  • Gradually start adding a small amount of lukewarm water in the tub while continuing with the treats every time he jumps in.
  • Some dog owners have been known to even slather peanut butter on the sides of the tub so the dog can focus on happily licking on the treat instead of the bathing process.
  • Be patient. If a bath strikes terror into your dog’s heart, don’t think that the desensitization process will be completed in a few tries. Stick with it and don’t go for the full bath routine until your dog gets confidence in YOU…which translates over to confidence in a bath
  • Start young, if this is possible. If you have a young pup, start the bathing process as soon as you can so that she never learns to fear it. You’ll be really happy that you did when she turns into a big, strong dog!

Preparing For Your Dog’s Bath

  • dog bathVery important – get the right shampoo. A dog’s skin has a natural pH of 7 – basically neutral. Human shampoo is much more acidic, meant for human skin with a pH of around 5. So even a non-tear formula for humans will not be right for your dog. And if your dog has a skin problem, you’ll need a shampoo that will help treat the condition.Banixx® Medicated Shampoo has a gentle, anti-microbial formula with the right pH for dogs. Its sea-sourced amino acids fortify hair fibers and repair damage while providing a deep-skin gentle cleansing for both skin and coat. Banixx is paraben, sulfate and soap free (key to maintaining a healthy coat), using no alcohol or steroids. Its deep-moisturizing, soothing formula is non-toxic with no added color or fragrance, and can be used daily for spot treatments or as an all-over body cleanser. And finally, it’s soap-free! so there’s nothing to dry out and de-nature your dog’s skin.
  • Brush your dog’s coat beforehand. It’s always a good idea to get the mats out before they get wet. Brushing before a bath makes it easier for the shampoo to get into the coat. And note that it’s also smart to brush him AFTER the bath to keep his coat from matting afterward.
  • Make sure everything you need is close at hand. You’ve got a wet dog in the bath – and you can’t reach the shampoo or other supplies. Talk about frustrating! So be sure to have the shampoo, grooming brush, treats, wash cloth, towels and other things in easy-to-access place so your dog doesn’t jump out and start shaking while you go get it.
  • Create a nonslip surface. Dogs don’t like to stand on slippery surfaces, so do yours a favor by putting a towel or nonskid rubber mat in the bottom of the tub.
  • De-stress the water. Before you bring your dog to the tub, fill it with water so he doesn’t worry about the sound of the rushing water. The water should be at least lukewarm if you’re bathing your dog indoors; if you’re outside, cool water is fine if the weather is warm or your dog has a heavy coat.Note: If you decide to bathe your dog outside (maybe because he sheds heavily, is quite large or has a thick coat), you can use the garden hose if the weather is warm enough. Just make sure you keep the water pressure low while bathing him – high pressure can drive bacteria into the skin.

How To Give A Dog A Bath

  1. dog in tubBe careful with your dog’s ears. You don’t want to get water in his ears when you’re giving him a bath – he’ll hate it, plus it could lead to infection and other health issues. Try to put cotton balls in the ears to protect them from getting wet, or, if your dog won’t tolerate that, be careful not to spray any water into them.
  2. Start with the neck and work your way down. Use a cup/small container or a sprayer to wet your dog. Make sure to wet your dog thoroughly, working the water through the coat right down to the skin. Apply the shampoo at the neck and continue down her body to her tail, down her legs to her toes. Be sure not to overlook her underside and groin area.
  3. Rinse – and repeat! It’s important to remove all the shampoo from your dog’s skin to avoid drying it out and causing itchy skin and hot spots. When you’ve finished shampooing, rinse thoroughly. If your dog has thick or long fur, it’s a good idea to rinse twice or even three times to make sure the shampoo is completely gone.
  4. Wash your dog’s face last. Once a dog’s head is wet, she instinctively wants to shake, so it’s best to leave this to the end of the bath. Use a damp washcloth. Be sure not to get any shampoo in the eyes, but wash around them and rinse right away. And as stated above, don’t get water in the ears.
  5. The art of drying. The simplest way to dry your dog is to towel her off. You will need more than one towel (including to soak up the water that splashes out of the tub). Start by throwing a towel over her and using another one to dry her face, ears and feet. It’s almost impossible to get through a bath without enduring the “shake” as your dog dries herself off – she just can’t help it! So towel her off as much as possible before she does it.

If you want to speed things up and use a blow dryer, just know that your dog will take some time to get your dog used to the noise and feel of air blowing on him. Set it on the cooler setting to make sure you don’t burn her skin in the process. Hair dryers are actually a good idea if your dog has a thick coat – it helps avoid damp spots in the undercoat that can lead to hot spots.
  6. Beware the “roll.” Dogs don’t like the smell of scented shampoo (note Banixx medicated shampoo has zero perfume). They’d much rather smell “natural.” They also feel like they need to dry themselves, even after toweling off. So after all your hard work in the bath, she will most likely make an attempt to get away and roll in the grass, dirt or worse. Some ideas to avoid this instinctive action are to crate her for a while after the bath, or better, to take her for a walk.
  7. Throughout the process, make it a good experience. Be calm and assertive, while talking to your dog in a pleasant, reassuring manner. Provide treats (peanut butter on the tub sides, anyone?) and rewards. Share affection. Your dog may never beg to take a bath – but your encouraging words can help ensure that she won’t hate it, either!

Banixx Medicated Shampoo

If you’re looking for a good medicated shampoo, we highly recommend the Banixx® Medicated Shampoo. It’s gentle, anti-microbial formula with the right pH for dogs. Its sea-sourced amino acids fortify hair fibers and repair damage while providing a deep-skin gentle cleansing for both skin and coat. Banixx is paraben, sulfate and soap free (key to maintaining a healthy coat), using no alcohol or steroids. Its deep-moisturizing, soothing formula is non-toxic with no added color or fragrance, and can be used daily for spot treatments or as an all-over body cleanser. And finally, it’s soap-free! so there’s nothing to dry out and de-nature your dog’s skin.

Banixx Shampoo

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Is A Mixed Breed Dog The Right Dog For You?

Did you know that more than half of all dogs in the United States are mixed breed dogs? Yes, there are 38 million mutts making their owners happy throughout the nation – and many people believe they actually make better pets than purebred dogs.

You may or may not agree with this (purebreds are great, too!) – so let’s take a look at the arguments FOR mixed breed dogs. First, let’s talk about what is a dog breed.

dog breeds

What Is A Dog Breed?

Ever since the first prehistoric people befriended wolves and domesticated them, humans have been breeding dogs purposely to perform various tasks. Some were bred for hunting, others for herding, guarding, racing, bearing burdens and even for sitting in ladies’ laps.

So with all this breeding of dogs into specific types, what makes a dog “purebred”? According to the American Kennel Club, “The simplest way to define a breed is to say it always ‘breeds true.’” By this the AKC means that when you breed a beagle with a beagle, the resulting puppies will always look like their beagle parents.

Did you know that there are more than 340 dog breeds, of which 193 are recognized by the AKC? Each breed has ideal physical traits and temperaments. Purebred dogs have registration papers that show that both parents were registered and of the same breed. When you buy a purebred dog, you have an idea of what its qualities and personality will be like.

What Is A Mixed Breed Dog?

mixed breed dog

A mixed breed dog – aka a “mutt” or (less lovingly) a “mongrel” – is a dog that has more than one recognized breed in his/her gene pool and is often not the result of intentional breeding. Most mixed breed dogs have ancestry that, at least at some point, has more to do with natural selection than human intervention – accidental mating, in other words.

Because of this mixed heritage, these types of dogs all look different, with a huge variety of sizes, coat types, shapes, and colors. One mutt may have characteristics that look more like, say, a shepherd than any other breed, but because of the other breeds in the mix, the dog may not act like a shepherd.

What Is A Designer Dog?

The difference between a mixed breed dog and a designer dog is that the designer dog (also sometimes referred to as a “hybrid” dog) has more than one recognized breed, but the breeding is deliberate. This intentional breeding is done to combine existing breeds and form new ones.

schnoodle dog

Schnoodle

One example of a designer dog is the Goldendoodle, which was created to blend the Golden retriever’s wonderful temperament with a poodle’s low-shedding qualities. Designer breeds tend to have cute names like “Schnoodle” (poodle/miniature schnauzer), “Puggle” (pug/beagle) or “Chorkie” (chihuaha/Yorkshire terrier).

Breeders who specialize in these hybrid dogs are interested in establishing their particular variety as true breeds. To do this, they need to create a predictable type, where one individual dog of a “breed” has similar physical and personality traits as another individual dog.

One unfortunate outcome of the designer dog craze is that puppy mills have taken advantage of the popularity of these dogs to sell them at exorbitantly high prices. These dogs are marketed by both puppy mills and breeders as healthy, cute, intelligent, trainable – or whatever the particular traits might be that will appeal to buyers. These claims may or may not be true. Moreover puppy mills are notorious for in-breeding (for example, mating a mother dog with her son). This can, in many cases, create disastrous consequences that the new “owner” has to contend with in terms of poor physical attributes, greater propensity toward seizures and much more.

Why Should I Get A Mixed Breed Dog?

You may be saving a life! The ASPCA reports that around 75% of all dogs in shelters are mutts. That’s the most frequent place that people find their mixed breed dogs (other places include friends, neighbors and relatives). If you don’t rescue that mixed breed fella, there’s a good chance he may be euthanized, so it’s good to know that approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted each year.

Mutts tend to be healthier than purebreds. It hasn’t been proven, but the theory is that more gene diversity in mixed breed dogs makes it less likely that they’ll develop hereditary diseases and disorders. What has been proven is that purebred dogs are more likely to develop different genetic disorders. For instance, one common disorder, hip dysplasia, affects German shepherds, Rottweilers, bulldogs, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Neapolitan mastiffs and Retrievers. And urinary bladder infections tend to plague Dalmations, Newfoundlands, the Bichon Frise and miniature Schnauzers.

mixed breed dogs

Many shelter dogs have built-in advantages. If you get your mixed breed dog at a shelter, it’s highly likely to already be house-trained (since she belonged to someone else before ending up at the shelter). Alternatively, because the shelter dog is generally not a puppy, house-training is easier because the dog is more mature and so does not need to go to “the bathroom” many times in one day Also, most dogs at shelters are past the exhaustive puppy stage (which may or may not be an advantage in your eyes, depending on how much you like dealing with puppy training). Furthermore, It’s much less expensive to get a dog from the shelter, rather than a breeder. And a dog from a shelter is likely spayed or neutered (or, it’s included in the adoption fee) and up-to-date on all her vaccinations – another cost saving.

Mixed breed dogs may be more intelligent. Studies have shown that, compared to purebreds, mixed breed dogs perform better on intelligence and problem-solving tests. This may in part be due to the lack of the genetic factor of in-breeding – but more likely, it depends on the breeds that are part of the “mix.” According to Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs,” the Top 7 smartest dog breeds are border collies, poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, and Labrador retrievers. If your dog’s genetics include genes from any of these highly intelligent breeds, he’s likely to be one smart pooch.

And, the expression, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” simply does NOT hold true. The author has adopted many dogs ranging from 2 to 6 and all that is required to end up with a nicely trained dog, at any age, is regular, consistent training. And this training is not just when the dog trainer, if you use one, is on site but, just as with a two year old child, it’s attention and discipline, applied to every interaction between you and your dog.

What Is Your Dog’s Mix?

dog dna testMost people are content to take a good guess at the various breeds that make up their dog’s genetics, or to forget about it altogether and just love the dog for who he is. But some people would like to know what breeds comprise the “mix.”

The good news is that, just like with human ancestry DNA tests, you can get a pretty good idea of where your dog comes from through dog DNA tests that only require a sample of your dog’s saliva. The test will give you information on the potential breeds that make him who he is.

It may be fun to know what breeds contributed to your mutt’s unique personality – but in the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your dog is your best friend who is happy to see you when you come home and always there for you in every situation of your life. And this is true whether you have a mutt or a purebred!

How Banixx Helps Dogs

Banixx is both effective and extremely safe – it can be used without worry on wounds or fungus infections around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, and has proven to be particularly effective at eliminating dog ear infections, dog hot spots, and dog or cat ringworm. Use it with confidence to successfully treat wounds, fungus, horse scratches, rain rot, ringworm, abscesses, thrush, white line disease, bacterial infections, fungal infections, fly bites or just some itchy skin on your animals. 

Find a store near you that carries Banixx.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

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