Understanding Canine Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

When it comes to our furry friends, their health and happiness are our topmost priorities. But just like us, dogs can also suffer from allergies, which — if left untreated — can significantly affect their quality of life. Canine allergies can manifest in various ways, from itchy skin and upset stomachs to chronic ear infections and excessive shedding. As pet parents, understanding these allergies and their causes, symptoms, and treatments is crucial in ensuring our dogs live comfortable, itch-free lives.

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How to Know if Your Dog Has an Ear Infection

At Pooch Care Plus, we know that your pup is a part of the family. That’s why you should keep an eye out for any potential health issues that can arise. One common issue in dogs is an ear infection. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of a dog ear infection, as well as how to treat it.

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?

Ear infections in dogs are caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, bacteria, yeast, mites, and foreign objects lodged in the ear canal. Allergies are one of the most typical causes of ear infections in dogs; they can cause inflammation and irritation that leads to infection. Bacteria and yeast can also cause infections if left untreated. Mites are another common cause; these tiny parasites feed on wax and oils in the ear canal and can lead to infection if not treated promptly. Finally, foreign objects such as grass seeds or dirt can become lodged in the ear canal and lead to infection if not removed quickly.

Symptoms of an Ear Infection in Dogs

  • There are several signs that your dog may have an ear infection:
  • Pawing or rubbing at the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness inside of the ear
  • Head shaking
  • Tilting head
  • Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
  • Rubbing their ears on furniture or carpeting

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup, it’s important to take them to see a veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosing an Ear Infection in Dogs

The first step towards diagnosing an ear infection is for your veterinarian to take a swab from inside your pup’s ears and examine it under a microscope. This will help them determine whether there are any mites, bacteria, or yeast present that could be causing the infection. They may also use other tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, to get a better look at what’s going on inside your pup’s ears.

Treating an Ear Infection in Dogs

Once your vet has determined what type of infection is present, they will prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications depending on what type of organism is causing the problem. They may also recommend using medicated drops or ointments directly into your pup’s ears several times daily until their symptoms improve. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove any foreign objects that have become lodged deep within their ears.

Prevention Tips for Dog Ear Infections

The best way to prevent dog ear infections is through regular cleaning and inspection of their ears. You should check their ears weekly for any signs of redness or discharge and clean them with a water-dampened cotton ball (never use Q-tips). Additionally, you should keep their environment free from allergens such as dust mites by vacuuming regularly and washing bedding frequently. Finally, ensure they stay up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by your vet so they don’t develop any underlying conditions that could lead to infections down the road!

At Pooch Care Plus, we understand how important it is for you to keep your pup healthy and happy! If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, make sure to contact their veterinarian. If you ever need pet sitting services near Philadelphia or have been interested in learning more about doggy daycare, contact our team today. 

When Is it Too Cold to Walk Your Dog?

It’s important for all canine friends to get adequate exercise, but they won’t be very happy — or safe — when walking in frigid temperatures. But when is it too cold to walk your dog? There isn’t a single answer to this question, because there are several factors that can influence how cold is too cold for your pooch. If you want to learn when it is too cold to walk your dog, then here are the details you should consider.

Your Dog

Perhaps the single most important factor you need to consider when deciding when it is too cold to walk your dog is your canine companion. Just like humans, no two dogs are truly alike, and their ability to endure the cold can also differ greatly — and some are bothered by the cold far more than others. To learn more about how cold is too cold for your beloved pooch, review these four traits:


Some breeds of dogs have a greater tolerance to the cold than others, largely because of how much fur they have. For example, a Bernese Mountain Dog will fare better in cold climates than a bull terrier might. In general, dogs with thicker coats are going to have a better time in the winter than dogs with shorter coats. When temperatures drop to low levels, dogs with less fur on their bodies are at greater risk of hypothermia and frostbite, making frigid conditions potentially life-threatening.


The size of your canine also must be taken into account when deciding what temperature is too cold to walk your dog. Larger dogs are going to be less sensitive to cold conditions than small dogs, as they lose body heat faster because of their tinier size. This means that if the temperature is below freezing, small dog breeds shouldn’t be let outside at all, even if they have a thick coat of fur.


If you want to learn when it is too cold to walk your dog, consider their age. The age of your dog plays a part in its ability to regulate body temperature. As a result, dogs that are very old or young puppies may have a harder time staying warm outside.


While it’s important for owners to know what temperature is too low for their dogs, they may give signs of their own to let you know. Shivering, tucking their tail, and other behaviors are clues that they’re too cold for the current temperature.

The Weather

When is it too cold to walk your dog? Obviously when there’s snow outside, of course! Precipitation, whether it be snow or rain, can make their fur wet, lowering their body temperature even lower. Additionally, owners should do more than just check the temperature before they walk their dogs; but the wind chills as well. 

The time your beloved pooch spends outside is also a factor because even if your giant and thick-coated dog can endure cold weather better than others, it shouldn’t be outside in frigid temperatures longer than it needs to be. This means that the time spent outside should also be considered when determining what temperature is too cold to walk your dog — dogs in cold weather should be outside for around 30 minutes or so, while smaller and less furry dogs should only have walks that last around 15 minutes.

Whether it’s hot or cold out, your canine friend is always welcome at our dog daycare in Philadelphia! At Pooch Care Plus, we have the experience to handle all of your dog care needs, including if you ever need pet-sitting services in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. For more information, give us a call today!

How Will My Dog Benefit From Doggy Daycare?

Planning on going out of town and can’t find anyone to watch your furry family member? Maybe you should consider doggy daycare. Leaving your dog is no fun; we all miss our pets when we are away. But this is a fun place where your pet can enjoy a relaxing time out while you are away. Many dogs enjoy staying at overnight locations, and yours could be too. However, you may be hesitant to say yes to this decision because you could wonder, is doggy daycare good for dogs? What are the benefits of doggy daycare? 

If you are worried about your dog and how doggy daycare could affect them, here are a few good reasons to help you make your decision.

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4 Ways to Calm a Dog During a Thunderstorm

Does your dog get scared whenever a thunderstorm rolls in? It’s common for pets to fear thunder and lightning because of the loud noises coupled with the bright flashing lights. It can be worrying and stressful to see your beloved pooch so afraid, but by knowing how to calm them, you can help. Learn how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm with these four helpful tips.

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Do Cats or Dogs Care More About Their Owners?

One question comes up frequently with pet lovers: do cats or dogs care more about their owners? As scientific studies and research have found, the answer isn’t quite one or the other. There are many factors in this long-standing debate, so here’s an overview regarding the differences between a dog’s affection towards its owner and a cat’s.

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Is It Safe for My Dog to Go to Daycare?

From feeding them, letting them go outside, and making sure they don’t cause mischief, owning a pet is a rewarding yet time-consuming endeavor. However, there are some times in your life when you won’t be able to look after your dog for a long duration of time, whether it’s for a business trip or a family vacation.

During such scenarios, many turn to dog daycares to look after their pets while they are away. However, some may wonder how safe the daycare facility will be for their beloved canine; will my dog be okay in the hands of others and around other pets away from their owners? That answer can change based on the quality of a particular facility, so here’s everything you should learn about safety at dog daycares before leaving your dog in the care of another.

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How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Dogs are an important part of the family dynamic. Most times, dog owners will consider their furry friends part of the family. And for dogs, being part of a family is ingrained into their being due to the nature of the pack. Yet, unlike human family members, it isn’t easy to take your beloved dog with you wherever you go. This often leads to times when dogs are left at home, causing them distress due to separation anxiety.

Dogs express separation anxiety with bad behaviors that might include excessive barking, biting, chewing, digging, and relieving themselves indoors. Homeowners may mistake these actions as simply a dog acting badly, yet oftentimes these destructive behaviors are a result of distress caused by being separated from their owners.

When a dog feels they’ve been separated from their pack, they’ll display extreme behaviors in an attempt to deal with the stress. In some instances, dogs will try to escape the home, which can lead to injury depending on the severity of the anxiety.

Here we will discuss some of the things you can do to help your furry family member deal with being left home alone:

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How to Leave Your Dog Alone While You’re on Vacation

Although vacations are always fun and exciting, some worries arise when leaving your pet alone for an extended period of time. You might be asking yourself, “where can I leave my dog to go on vacation, and who can I trust to keep my dog happy?”

Whether you decide to leave your dog with a close friend or trust them with a boarding facility, you are probably feeling a whirlwind of emotions. How do you know which option is best for you and your dog?

When it comes to leaving your dog at home while on vacation, every situation varies depending on the dog owner.

We’ll explain how to prepare your dog for the separation. Plus, we’ll discuss the best options when it comes to deciding where you can leave your dog to go on vacation.

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How Often Should You Bathe a Dog?

Keeping your dog clean and healthy is an essential responsibility for pet owners, but bathing a dog too much can be a detriment to their skin and coat by rinsing away vital natural oils, which can make them dry and irritated. To ensure you aren’t bathing your dog too much or too little, here are 5 vital details to consider when planning out their bath schedule.

Breed and Coat

One of the most crucial factors in determining how frequently you should start bathing a dog is its breed. Different dog species have varying types of fur coats, which influence how often they need cleaning. Longer dog coats need bathing every other week to every four weeks, as their natural oils are needed to help insulate their fur. Hairless dogs, such as the Chinese Crested, require weekly baths to prevent oil buildup on their skin. Consult a professional to learn which wash schedule works best for your dog’s breed.

Routine Bathing

While a specific breed can influence the time you set aside for washing your dog, all canines will need to have bath time eventually. Even if they aren’t particularly active, dogs will still collect dirt and debris in their fur over time that needs to be cleaned at some point. Outside of baths, it’s vital to maintain your dog’s condition throughout the year with grooming and dental care. To learn more about dog grooming in Philadelphia, head to Pooch Care Plus to see the services we can offer you and your dog.

Activity and Lifestyle

Something else that will make bathing a dog more common in your household is how often they exercise. Athletic dogs that swim through water and run in puddles of mud will become dirty more frequently than others. Cleaning them with warm water will not only help wash off any dirt, but help maintain their odor from becoming too out of control. Dogs that tend to roll around in strange or smelly things on their walks will also need washes to get rid of the scent, even if they aren’t very athletic. Washing your dog can help ensure they don’t bring that bad smell home with them!

Skin Condition and Health

You may find yourself washing your dog more frequently if they have an underlying skin condition or allergy, as it will help relieve them of their symptoms and itching. Depending on what specific condition they have, they will need around one bath a week based on what your veterinarian suggests. Dogs that need routine bathing due to a skin condition will likely need a specified dog shampoo to treat their condition, so contact your vet to see what product they recommend. Additionally, baths can help keep fleas or other bugs off of them, though they should still seek treatment.

Time of Year

Pet owners may need to start bathing a dog more often depending on the time of year. In wintertime, more baths can be helpful for reducing dryness and itching. Another season that dogs will want to bathe more is in the spring when their fur sheds. While brushing your dog can help remove their shedded fur, water pressure during bath time can also facilitate the process.

If you need any assistance pet sitting in South Philadelphia and the surrounding area, Pooch Care Plus has you covered!