Traveling and/or RV-Living with Dogs and Pets

“There is something so inviting, about packing up belongings, while in transport to a vacation or having a new lifestyle of a home on wheels, with a stocked kitchen, accessible bathroom, comfy bed and bringing along family and/or your beloved pet, all while getting to the destination of choice”. C .Star. V

While out Camping or RV-living, caring and concerns for your pet is much the same as when you are living in a house. If you are having to leave your pet for any length of time, you want to make sure to check for or put away anything that your pet could get a hold of or into that would be dangerous or destructive. Living in the RV, we do have to consider that and other issues, such as turning off our gas-propane and water when we leave. We also ensure all food is away and garbage is taken out.

Have a schedule of some type: “Whether you live in a house, an RV (on the road or camping), it is always best in keeping a schedule of some-type, this is a must (whether it be for them to eliminate or a feeding schedule). It is important that your dog (pet) is being taking out to be able to daily eliminate (or for some pets that use litter boxes or other areas and keep those areas cleaned-up). Your pet needs to get a chance to go out often enough and have some-type of consist schedule (so they can learn that they can depend upon and will get to go out and “eliminate” when they are out) and if not, they will go wherever they will, when they can’t hold it anymore. Same goes for feeding your pet, if you don’t have some type of consistency in schedule (as a morning feeding and a dinner-time feeding) of enough and proper nutrition, they may not get what they need and get into other foods they shouldn’t..

**A method we use with our dogs, I call “the transition technique” (in addition to last thing before bed & first thing in the morning for elimination needs), whenever we are going to get ready to go somewhere and have to leave our dogs, we make sure to take them out. This way they can get some fresh air, exercise and eliminate. Then, whenever we get back from being away from our dogs (whether they are with us or if they’re home or in RV waiting for us ) we always take them out promptly, so they don’t have accidents trying to hold it for anymore length of time..

Having a routine, a consistent schedule or a method will ensure that your dog will know they will be going out. Sometimes they’re not feeling well or they have a stomach upset or something else wrong with them and they could have an accident, but it’s not the dogs fault and they should not be punished.

Keep poop bags with you out on walks: You need to make sure to clean up their poop after your dogs go, even if you gotta come back with a doo doo bag to pick it up (not only to be courteous to others), but so dog lovers and owners don’t get a bad name and not welcome to places with their dogs. As well, picking up after you dog helps us to know that our pet went poop and if it has a good consistency or not (if your pet has a upset stomach or any other issue, that they may need something in helping them). As well, when you do take your dog out, watch and make sure they did actually go to the bathroom. One of our dogs goes like clockwork whenever we take her out and our other dog, we usually have to walk a bit more with him or wait, even if he finds a good spot as he will sniff and look around a little bit before he squats and poops!! Many dogs go poop once a day (around the same time-especially if fed on and around a schedule time) some dogs go poop twice or may need to go out because of a possible upset stomach. It all depends and many dogs like to urinate a few times when they get to go out, even if they only out for a short walk. Let them empty those colons and bladders!!

Have your pets needs, food, treats, toys & water: Plan to bring along extra food for your dog (pet), in case the worst should happen and you break down or are away longer than you initially expected and bring plenty of fresh water, along with flea and tick remedies. Keep their water & food bowls clean and accessible at all times (I use white vinegar and water put in spray bottle, spray and wipe after each feeding and clean water bowl too, both get slimy). Pack your dog’s (pets) favorite blankie, toys and treats, to ensure they will be happy and have something to occupy themselves when you are relaxing in the RV. Some dogs will need help in getting in and out of any type of RV, travel trailer or 5th wheel, do there are ramps for assisting them. If there’s several dogs with your travel, create a routine to bring them in last and take them out first or whichever works best , so other dogs can’t trample on them. Make sure to be aware of what safe options of treats and foods are, for you to give your pet. Rawhide should not be given to dogs under 1 yr old and rawhide is not a good option anyway, especially if dog is left alone while eating it, this can be dangerous. I give hard thick bones, once in a great while as a treat. I get them at the grocery store wrapped in plastic. Keep dog safe wipes to clean their paws from coming in when after taking them and outside.

Exercise & mental stimulation is needed: Your dog (pet) may be accustomed to frequent exercise in a backyard or other exercise routines. If you are staying in a campground or Rv resort, you likely will not have a fenced in area for him to play. Some RV parks and campgrounds have fenced-in, off-leash areas or doggie parks. If not you could find a local off-leash dog park or just remember to take your dog for a nice long walk to get them exercise and easier to relax when back inside. Some campgrounds are near beaches, and other bodies of water and may allow pets to go with you to that area. Many people is that all dogs do you know how to swim and that isn’t necessarily true some dogs need to be taught how to swim and some are terrified of water, a dog needs a life vest just like a child and owners must know for sure that their dog knows how to swim and can swim to safely . If not the dog must be taught to.

Keep pet safe & comfortable in travels: Traveling in an RV is most likely entirely new for most dogs and owners may not know what all to expect. Our pets need to have a place for them that they can be comfortable and safe when the Rv is moving from one place to another. Designating a place (such as the couch for some dogs) or others may need to be crated In case they have travel anxiety. Most dogs enjoy riding in a car, but moving along in a motor home can feel a bit different and your pet may need time to adjust. You should have your dog (pet) near where you’ll be riding in the Rv motorhome and possibly encouraged them to relax on a couch or choose a location for your dog (pet) to ride. Create or designate a safe (in traveling) and comfy place for your dog (pet). No matter where you choose for your dog (pet) to ride, be sure that they are comfortable when driving long hours and plan to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks, water and feedings. If you are towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer, your dog will need to ride in your truck with you, as it is never safe for anyone to ride in the trailer while towing. When it’s bedtime, be sure to have a similar routine as you did at home, when it’s time for your pet to sleep. If your pet typically sleeps in your bed, allow the same in the RV. If he has his own dog bed, be sure to bring it along for your trip. This will help your pet and you, to get a good nights sleep.

Have a plan, if you can’t bring your (pets): When having to leave your dog (pet) when you can not bring them or it’s not dog-friendly, is one of the biggest factors when having your dog (pet) along camping or on an RV trip. Especially, when you will have to leave your dog (pet) alone for more than a couple hours at a time. RVs may have room for your dog to walk around and most dogs should be fine with being left behind for a little while. After all, most dog owners leave their dog alone at home whenever they are working or running errands, so this is something your dog should be accustomed to. You should put all the blinds down and play some soothing music or TV show to block out extra light and sound. This will encourage your dog to spend more time snoozing and less time barking while you are away. If you are truly uncomfortable with leaving your dog (pet) alone for a few hours, try to plan and seek out a local pet-sitter or dog-walker to spend time with your dog while you are away. I don’t think I’d ever trust some kind “technology” just yet, in leaving my pet in the RV and going away and just assume the AC will kick in at a certain temperature and keep it running to do so. If pets are left inside a vehicle with windows 1/2 down or an RV with windows open, it can still be too hot for a pet to handle if the weather is hot outside, especially if not parked in the shade (and you also have to think about when it’s too cold and must not leave any propane on). If we have to leave our pets, we always turn off the propane gas. We try to never leave our dogs for more than 2 hours or so without letting someone around, know to check on them and make sure they are ok and that the AC is running. We take our dogs with us, most of the time even if we have to do errands and let them stay in our vehicle with the AC on or windows down sufficiently for air and that we can see readily see them.

Pet Etiquettes & Common Sense: Most campgrounds are pet friendly, some allow pets in all areas and some have restrictions. Some have dog run or dog parks and some have restrictions of bigger dogs (usually rare though). However, pet owners should know what their pet is capable of and of their pets personalities. Pet owners should know what can trigger them into an aggravated or stirred up situation and know how to prevent these or what to do in that event. As campgrounds have become more crowded, campers and RVers must practice social etiquette, pet etiquettes and common sense, with their neighbors. However, most do, yet sometimes you may run into those whom just don’t. Dogs are going to bark, that’s what they do and for the most part that’s their job and protecting and if they see other dogs or commotion going on they may bark and they shouldn’t be punished or hit because of that. I want to believe that they just might not know how to properly deal with some issues and yet, other etiquettes are just common sense. Perhaps they have not trained their dog(s) and some think the portable pen outside of their RV (as their dogs running from side to side) or on a tether line and stake in the ground or in the pen (possibly barking) while the owner(s) are nowhere to be seen, is adequate. This can be dangerous and not to mention, that one’s personal space is important to everyone, pet owners, the pet and those whom no longer or have never owned pets. I have always been an animal lover and really enjoy meeting new dogs, especially if they are well-behaved, but stray dogs can pose risks, as you can NEVER assume all dogs are friendly. We often find a road, areas or path that’s more private or has less campers walking outside in the campgrounds to take our dogs to walk and this helps too. If we happen to see other owners and their dogs coming our way, we usually just turn onto a different way if we can. My one senior dog just goes crazy when she sees another dog approaching and there was even a time where I had to ask another camper, if I could go behind his car and wait till some people and their dogs had passed so my dog didn’t see them and the coast was clear!! Every once in awhile we experienced noisy pets and have witnessed those whom leave their dogs (pets) alone in their tents or Rv’s and take off and are gone the whole day and meanwhile their dog(s) are barking the whole time and I mean for hours. This should not be allowed. I realize that people have things to do, places to go and sometimes they can’t take the dogs, but some type of arrangement should be made (especially for dogs that have separation anxiety or that tend to bark when left alone). Sadly, I’ve watched owners that don’t even seem to talk nicely to, pet gently and show love to their dogs. What I noticed is some dogs will just bark at everyone passing by or if they see another dog and this is a common thing, but some pet owners just ignore the dog completely or yells at the dog(s) to shut up. The better thing to do, is to take action and remove the dogs from sight of seeing each other and they will calm down. Training dogs the “Quite Command” (by being rewarded) is also good and this can be learned how to do this by searching it on google and following carefully the instructions and steps in doing so..

Have a plan in case an emergency : If an emergency situation should arise, it is always good to be prepared. Have the number for a local veterinarian handy just in case the worst should happen. Be careful not to let your dog (pet) slip-out when coming in and going out, from your RV and keep an ID tag on your pet’s collar at all times (put cell phone number, where you can be reached on pet’s tags). This will ensure that someone can find you, if your dog (pet) were to escape. There are also magnetic signs or stickers that can be placed on the outside of one’s RV that states information about your dogs (pets) that are inside and how to reach owners in case of emergency while away from RV. Keep a prepared folder of our dogs (pet) info with Vet information, all legal documents, even current COLOR printout pictures of your with lost dog (pet) info, (hopefully never needed), but readily available for instant handing out to Police, Park Campground Hosts and surrounding areas.

Keeping your dog (pet) safe outside: Dogs (all animals in general) are nosey and that’s what causes a risk. If you are going for their last bathroom walk for the night and it’s beginning to get dark or is dark outside, you must bring a flashlight of some type of lighting to be able to see what’s on you and your dogs pathway. There could be something you don’t want to step on or that your dog could get a hold of or such that needs to be avoided for safety reasons. Our dogs are ALWAYS on a leash when outside and I keep their harnesses on inside just in case I have to grab them from heading out the door, when not supposed to go (I’ll take it off to bath them or occasionally when they go to sleep for the night, but generally their soft harness is always on). My one doggie is an older senior dog, but she’s still quick as a whip, she loves to get outside and if she got loose, she’d run everywhere and would love to get away to explore! We always locate where ours dogs are at, before we open the door and since there’s only one door that we have to come in and out and three large steps to get down and another three steps to get out, it has been fine. Being that we’re full-time RV-ers, it has been a major concerns of ours with our one doggie possibly getting out and escaping, one because there are dangers that are in the woods and campgrounds, as well as cars and even with a gps tracker the fact is, it would be still be dangerous and a stressful strain to try and go after her to try and find her. So, I keep a collar and a harness on her and I have created a method of putting the harness on in a more secure fashion (where the opening of the harness is at the top and clipping the harness loop and the collar loop clipped together with the leash clip). Neither has to be real tight and some harnesses you may have to back your dog into it (to have that clip up top). When out walking with her, if she sees another dog or something that excites her, she cannot easily get out of the harness (not without allowing me to have enough time to pick her up). We travel where there are all kinds of wild life and critters, that can pose potential risks. If we go hiking with our dogs, we keep them short leashed and I always walk with a tall rod or wood staff and use it to tap or move brush or bushes out of way and tap the path in front of us (for anything that could jump out). The staff also could serve me in an emergency, if I had a ankle injury while isolated.

Be patient and if can do trial runs: Give things time to adjust and remember that RV travel is likely brand new for your dog (pet). Some may adjust immediately, but may also need some time to become fully comfortable in the RV or the camping scenarios. If you plan to bring your dog along for a long trip, consider practicing with a few shorter trips first. Perhaps you can plan to spend a few hours in the RV while it is parked in your driveway or? This way, your dog (pet) can get familiarize with the new environment. You could even plan to spend a night in the RV ahead of time, so that your dog knows what to expect. Every dog (pet) can be different and you will recognize and learn to know the best for your pet and create a plan of action that works best for you too. Then, things can become more predictable and enjoyable, just as we have created for our dogs making sure they eliminate, get fresh air and exercise (on somewhat of a consistent schedule). Along with all I have shared here, as it’s been so rewarding to have their companionship and their love, as they enjoy camping and RV-life with us and we love their cuddling, snuggling and sleeping in our bed with us in the RV!!! 😃

RVing with your dog (pet) may seem like a hassle, but it’s worth having them around and many of us have support animals and need them. Most dogs are fairly adventurous and enjoy experiencing new things with their owners. Learn the hazards where you are going. Try to be prepared. This will help make things less anxious during travel. Do research and thoughtful considerations, plan out your trips and lifestyle that both you and your dog (pet) will enjoy together.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this post and safe and smart travels to all !!Any questions about anything mentioned here or about having your pets with you in your travels. Let me know.

C .Star. V

RV-living: What I’ve learned (just in 1st year)

As time goes by, some things may change as in the world of gadgets and technology and as well, so can one’s needs, routines and wants. C .Star. V

Whether you are looking forward in traveling, going camping (with tents, rv or other) taking some time to enjoy the outdoors or even in having to live in your RV as your residence, there’s no set-way to do so, only guidelines. It’s what-ever can work for you and what you need or are trying to accomplish. Learning how to adjust and adapt to living an RV-Life, can be exciting and fun, but also could be overwhelming.

In fact for many, it’s not just “Hey let’s sell most of your possessions, storing some and purchase an RV of some sort and travel all over”. Yeah, that’s not always how it all goes down. There are those (like my husband and I and our 2 dogs), that actually had two other RV’s and never used them because of dealing with family crisis’s. Yet, still had dreamt of someday having an RV-lifestyle, but had to be thrown into it real fast, did what we could to continue to support ourselves and figured it out from there. We live in our RV at local city parks and such, in the same city our last home was in and nearby where our 2 youngest children live. I can give advice on how to do things more efficiently, with a much easier transition, a lot less stress and struggle, but success in doing so, will still be up to the individual. I say this because against all odds, we still managed and made it work.

There are differences from living in our “sticks and bricks” (a nickname for a traditional house), than living in our RV-home, but there’s several things that are similar. I had done some RVing in my younger years and lived on a sailboat (with 2 of my eldest children) for almost 2 years and my husband had parents that were RV-ers, so we both already had some experience in living, travel and outdoor life, but in life you should never stop learning..

After my first year of RV-living and lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot about how to make the process easier and as comfortable as possible (from the home maker’s point of view), even though I do know some mechanical, electrical and physical knowledge about things. I manage what I do, as my husband and I are a team (yet, he has some disabilities), so I have to help-out more. I’ve learned a lot more about RV-ing and it’s community of course, but also learned more about myself, what my needs are, what’s important and how the weather, can tremendously dictate our plans, among several other things.

Here’s some other things I’ve learned just in the 1st year of RV life:

*Having patience, planning, being organized and disciplined, is not only a virtue, but could be a necessity.

*Taking care of yourself (health) is not a selfish act, but mandatory.

*One may not seem to have much, but could have everything.

*Even though we may not always be stationery and have a different destination, it’s not always a vacation…

*I loved my homes that I’ve had and lived in for years, but I like being in the RV better (don’t miss cleaning and fixing the big house nor trying to keep up the lawn).

*Time is truly most precious in life and most importantly, how you spend it, as well as with and around whom. Take time, don’t rush it, but don’t waste it (especially when you’re on the road, take the time to enjoy, do not rush to the next destination).

*Having clean water is crucial as you can’t carry a lot of water with you because it is a heavy load. Having dry-wood is good and needed for making a fire in fire-pits or grills to cook food.

*Being able to estimate how many gallons of water you need or use each day is very helpful (along with battery, electricity & amp usage)!

*There’s many nice people out enjoying camping and all levels of RV-living, not all want company, some just want a friendly chat, hello or get to-gethers. A lot of people have pets with them (many are dogs), some treat their pets like family and really care about them, others will leave their dogs barking in their RV and don’t seem very caring to their dog/pet (which makes me sad). Some bring a plastic bag with them when taking their dog for a walk, clean-up after their dog and some don’t.

*Often we do errands, go exploring, go visiting and do other things away from the RV and campsite. Most of the time, we take our dogs as they love being with us, even if they sit in our truck with the windows down (to get fresh air, but not all the way down for them to jump-out). We don’t like to leave them and if we have to leave them in the RV, we always take them out and make sure they get to go potty, right before we leave. We turn the a/c on and turn gas and water off. We often arrange the timing to be out, usually around their napping time and only if we know, we will only be gone no more than a couple hours or so.

*Campgrounds are not just for weekend warriors (of friends, family) camping in tents and such or part-time or full-time RVers. Campgrounds can be a place where people call their home, for a short time or longer times. It’s a place people go to relax, get away, visit friends and family and have get to-gether’s, enjoy their time and it shouldn’t be a place for those to leave trash, waste or destruction after they visit or leave.

*I mainly wear comfy clothes (and more than once), as you may not get to do laundry or shower as often as you normally would, but still get your things and yourself get washed.

*I’ve learned to appreciate paper towels, paper plates, bamboo utensils, clean water, showers, and having clean clothes.

*The importance of taking off your shoes when coming into the RV and having the right shoes for different terrains. Waterproof shoes to wear for using public showering and during rainy weather. Also, liking to wear socks when in the RV!!

*Living in close quarters, (ours is about 270sqft), you will need to really like the person a lot, that you share that space with…

*Our lifestyle has changed dramatically in that, we live by the weather more, but also by what area we will be at and the ever changing scenario’s and terrain.

*Over the course of life, we seem to collect so much more than we really ever need or may even use. Often having to end-up giving it away or getting rid of it, just to have what we want or really need.

*Collecting things and to think we need all kind of stuff, isn’t necessary. Need to just save your money for something more beneficial. We always seem to have what we need anyways or can make do and if we don’t or can’t, we get it. We have given away over half or more of our things.

*Plants don’t like to travel. They like being stationary (for the most part, maybe moved to sunlight or a window), after all they are plants and unlike humans don’t need, nor desire to venture out or move much.

*Bigger is not always better, neither is having more (that pertains from food to things), happiness is very possible with less, a lot less. Experiencing more pleasant memories, over having things.

*I’ve learned that all my recycling habits, water and energy saving habits, food preparation and healthier eating habits, have all been so useful and helpful. Also, less of a need for buying a lot of foods all at once.

*Rinsing off or cleaning anything in the sink (even hands), can be done just a good with the water running softly (not blasting).

*Living closer to and with nature is much more healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and more natural.

*Occasionally when parked in the woods and surrounded by trees, either sticks or small branches could drop also small animals (birds, raccoons and such), could hop onto the top of your RV and it can sounds like someone knocked on your door. Even though it’s coming from the top it may cause movement to the front door.

*I learned about what products to safely use to keep the bugs and pests out of our RV and to make my own and effective repellents. Also, even if you love the outdoors, camping and nature, there are many bugs that will love you even more!

*Camping & RV living may not be for everyone, but for many it can be rewarding and enjoyable.

We all could be wanting, looking or waiting for something and this is true, but most likely we already have most of what is needed or at least enough to life happier, its just possibly, one is not on or can’t see the road, instead, just spending time thinking of what they think are obstacles”. C .Star. V

I’ll be posting real people and real RV-life, tips and tricks on this blog and on my instagram; http://www.instgram.com/cstarsrvvibes

As always, if there is a question or information I can help with or you want to tell me about your RV or camping experiences, let me know.

C .Star. V

Now is our Someday

“RV-Living, can be for anyone, if you like the outdoors, don’t mind being mobile & likes to travel, respects nature & camping rules, often living by the weather, learn having less can be best, do planning & can be resourceful and can manage yourself wherever you go”. C .Star. V

This picture above was in 2021, we finally started our full-time RV-living journey, as we may never would have had a chance to, unless we just took the jump. We had some experience and know how, but with everything against us, and only a start in plans, it wasn’t exactly the way we had thought we would be (as in having more time, money, travel and options) doing this transition, but finally we had all of our children old enough and able to get on their own (had my last 2 late in life). After raising all the children (having to give-up any career to do so) and after my husband whom had worked the majority of his life, he had progressive disabilities from his past years in the military and injury while at work, which had prevented him from being able to continue his employment. We also had no where else to live, as not only did we have the dream of RV-life, we had to sell our family home and other properties to get out of debts from years of all our family responsibilities, some mismanagement of money, and my husband’s parents had to move-into our home we used to rent out. So with little or no funds or plans we needed to find and purchase our RV months before we ended up selling our home in 2021, due to all of this and various other reasons, we possibly would-never or it would take awhile for us to ever-be-able to purchase an RV and we aren’t in our 30-40’s or 50’s anymore!!

My husband served in the Navy for 14yrs, then became employed as an IT and worked on an oil-drilling-ship for many more years. We always talked about, “Someday “ getting an RV and doing some traveling and live in it (after we raise the children). My husband worked all his young adult to senior life. He always went to work and worked hard at his job, supported his large family and paid his bills, but he didn’t always know the most beneficial way to utilize his income (even while he was finally earning better income), but we survived through much drama and turbulent times. Meanwhile, raising a large blended family with 2 sets of aging parents.

During our marriage, at one point I had a chance to start my career and finally earn an income of my own, but chose to be a stay at home mom, “Since I never found any type of employment that ever needed me, more than my family”. Within all those years, I had to learn how to budget. While practicing it, I became pretty good at creating a fulfilling life, with a full house of children and while keeping on a tight budget. People always thought we had a lot more money then we did, but it was just finding how-to’s and being resourceful by being creative, keeping things simple, yet useful and making-do with what I had. I am now implementing my knowledge and know-how’s, in tips towards a simpler, healthier and enjoyable lifestyle.

**Our Rving journey, had been long awaited. Raised last set of children in my 40’s and when they were all (almost), all grown-up, we bought several RV’s (hoping to do some weekend fun or mini trips), but never had a chance to use them and had to sell them both times (family dilemmas with aging parents and children), but didn’t give up the dream. Even though, our income was shrinking, not solid, with a much tighter budget then ever before, with everything else going on within our life, family and right in the middle of Covid, lost our beloved dog and my husband wasn’t able to continue working because of his injury and progressive disabilities. It all changed from being a dream, in feeling more of a total challenge. After deciding to sell our home (had a quick sale), it was out of necessity to live in our RV (for several reasons) and start our someday, if not now, it possibly may be never.

*So, in this month it will be a full year of full-time-RVing for us and our 2 dogs, this was our 3rd RV and 3rd try and the turn of events had us sad at first. Even on our smaller budget, not as young anymore and with my husbands disabilities, we made a go of it. At this point, we had now been able to live in our RV and put it to use, but have to stay a bit stationary (hubby in physical therapy) hoping to one day do more traveling, but grateful for being a part of a super RV-ing community, have met some really great people and made new friends. So, there’s no “one-way” to RV-living and camping. No matter if you are part-timers, weekend warriors or full- timers. “Find-out now, that happiness doesn’t require as much as one may think”.

On this blog I will share some tips and tricks that could be helpful and a glimpse of the things we’ve experienced along the way of our journey so far and as our adventure continues. Also more on my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I have always loved scrapbooking, but today we have blogs, Instagram and other platforms that our children, grandchildren and family can see and share.. As well, that possibly could help others, upon their journey or surviving getting to their life goals. Whether they might be thinking about RVing or already in the midst of it.

Meanwhile, keeping our ongoing RV-living and dreams of travel, even with all we’re coping with ..“Aiming to, Send and Receive Good-Vibes Only”.

C .Star. V

RVing

“There are far better things ahead, than something’s we leave behind”.

There is much information out there about RV-ing, camping, travel and more with so many articles, blogs, social media platforms (such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook) and sometimes it seems there is such a lot to take in, but it is super to have such access, to all kinds of information. Within all the beautiful and captivating pictures, shown of beautiful people without-a-care-in-the world, traveling and having a beautiful life in a beautiful place, all displayed on these platforms and it may all looks so interesting. Yet, many of the displays and portrayals on the internet of these feelings and lifestyle goals, could be of companies and marketers advertising or selling something. Although! Yes! The experience and the goals for this lifestyle (realistically), may look a little different then some photos or stories we see, but it can be very possible, inviting, very enjoying, relaxing, rewarding and for some very economical.

There are also opportunities as well for bloggers and others on social media platforms (Instagram, YouTube and Facebook) that can suggest and recommend items and earn a small percentage, which can help support them in and on their journeys and that’s great !! Most of us on this planet, needs to earn an income in order to survive and get the needs we need. As well, with all the technology today, it has provided many ways to achieve that.

Yet, just like any other decisions that any of us make in our lives, it’s a choice and how you choose to live it, use it and enjoy it, all can vary. I will be sharing my stories, ideas, & information, about RV-ing from our experience and give realistic-life advice & suggestions, on this blog and my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I do enjoy many pleasures from the analog days vs. todays fast pace, as when people told their stories and gave realistic simple advice, before there was a lot of technology and gadgets. Life just was a little less hectic and living simpler, seemed more meaningful and I grew up in those days (tried to keep as much of valuable traditions, as I could in raising my children) and I was very happy to be able to do so. I also enjoy all or any good vibes, coming from today’s world and today’s insights, so I value both as there’s so much information out there to be shared and much to be enjoyed.

So, whether it’s just for a couple of days, for a weekend or Full-time RV-living, there’s no one way that makes it better or it right.. Just read up, make plans and get yourself out there!

C .Star. V

Transitioning to FT-RV-life

“Our FT RV-Life was not fully planned all out, but totally happened! As seniors still wanting to live-the-life we waited for, even on a smaller budget” .

In the Picture above was when we first bought our RV, however we weren’t able to embark and to start any journeys or even live in the RV, at that time because we were still in the midst of selling our house and trying to plan our transition from a large-size home to an RV, just under 300 sqtft.

Although this was our third time buying an RV, (we hadn’t been able to utilize the past two) and we had to sell them. The timing just was not good as we had experienced some crisis with aging parents and our children, but this time we were determined and able to make a go of it and did . More on my Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

In buying an RV, as in anytime making a large purchasing or a purchase of something that has to be maintained (and in this case lived-in), one must not be in a rush, must research, read reviews and look at many different ones at different places . We did, but had still not found one that we really wanted and could afford. Time was crucial and pressing at this point and it was right in the middle of the Covid pandemic, our income had been drastically cut, my husband now had been dealing with his disabilities progressing and could no longer go to work, we just lost our eldest and beloved dog, and now out of necessity (fortunately something that we always wanted to do) we had to find an RV as we may never get a chance again..

At that time there was also, starting to be a scarce amount of used RV’s, as RV-ing had begun to get very popular again, but we had to make a decision. My husband and I each, may have wanted a different type of RV, but the cost, availability and the timeframe pressed on. We decided on a used class A 31UL Jayco precept. There are so many different types of RVs and any one of them we would’ve been happy with and made it work, as we’ve had different types before, but this specific one met our needs (at that time)..

In choosing a class A motorhome we found comfort and ability since we also have two dogs RV-ing with us. Having the Class A or a Class C, we would be able to take the dogs with us when we travel, opposed to having to hatch on to the back of a truck and pull the RV, wherever you go and be inside your truck to travel (we once had one like that, but it’s just a personal preference any-type can be enjoyed). So, now we all can be in the RV, as we travel from place to place, whether we end up towing our vehicle or not..

The type of vehicle, tent or living component that you’re going to be in, what you can afford to have and keep-up and with, where you’re going to choose to park, camp, live and your ability of and in your income, will have the biggest bearing on what kind of lifestyle you’ll have. Yet, it comes down to your real needs and no matter the budget, everyone can do and see much of the same things… Although, it could be in various ways, as these choices and situations have different needs and requirements, but they also have similar needs and requirements. Since, RV parks, campgrounds, state and city parks offer utilities and amenities and some don’t. So, everyone will adjust and manage in their own way and for what their needs will be.

There are even RV parks that are just like apartment complexes for RVers with a community of its own and many perks such as WiFi, trash pickup, propane refills, a general store, a fitness center and a laundry room. Some places are just available land, that have resources for parking and camping no matter what type of vehicle or tent set-up you have, but some don’t have any various utilities to use. Boondocking usually falls into a category that you will need to be able to be more self -sustainable and Moochdocking could be if you are able to stay at someone’s backyard or land and are able to plug into electricity and maybe use shower or bathroom facilities!!!

For us, I myself, have moved and changed my residence’s many-a-times. For most of us, each and every time we go through a move, it seems that no matter, how much we plan, how much time, money or help we have nor how much or little of stuff we have, it’s never an easy process..

Moving into this Fulltime RV-ing endeavor had been a bit challenging, moving from a 5/5, almost 4,000 sqft house to a 31 ft, 270 sqft. RV. Yet, moving or relocating in itself can be overwhelming, as it is a process when moving and downsizing and that alone is a process within a process.

Here below I’ve listed just a quick general process. I have other posts that go into more depth of downsizing and moving). One should try and go through this process at least 6 months prior to moving. (I started 2 yrs before and I still had a difficult time) so, the sooner the better!

1. First the uncluttering and this can consist of going through each closet, each drawer and each and every space in each room.

2. Evaluating what all you have, which includes your clothes, your shoes and all your stuff, that means even going through paperwork, papers saved, file cabinets and just everything all around your home. Cleaning out things that are garbage, or old and outdated ( such as: food, spices, medicines, beauty products etc.) things that are broken (either fix or repair them or if beyond repairing that you’ll ever find the time to do) and things you don’t really need or won’t be really needing (think in terms of what needs for your end goal and what path you are going onto).

3. Re-organize (re-group) all your things according to what they are, where they need to be, put or stored (for convenient usage or easy accessibility or if not being used that often stored away). Example: kitchen (what goes into kitchen area) and what will go in each room, bedrooms, bathrooms, office, closet, drawers and if you have a garage as well. Also, important documents saved or wanting to save (put in file cabinet or file boxes and with file folders marked of the contents or what it is pertaining to.

4. Once all of your possessions and the clutter is gone through (good time to get rid of things you’re not going to use or not going to take with you to your new residence) getting a storage for things you want to keep and reorganize them for when and if you need them (seasonal clothing , tools etc.).

There are so many different ways, opinions, opportunities and methods to any of our journeys in life.. just as there are parks, places and people that go camping and RVing. No matter whether one is a part time RVer, camper, weekend warrior or fulltime RV-living. Many people are always willing to offer each other advice and information about transitioning or on certain equipment needs, personal needs, lifestyle needs and about the amenities, utilities, campgrounds, camping sites and more..

“There is no one-way or set-ways to Rv-ing, just tips, tricks & helpful guidelines”

C .Star. V

Pets & Allergies

In over 6+ decades of living life and I’ve always being around animals and compassionately raising and lovingly caring for them . I just wanted to share my experience and information in hoping, it will help others on all timeframes or financial budgets that are coping, trying to find methods of managing and curing issues.

On this post, I mainly focusing on dog-pets (fur-babies), but the basic information and tips could apply to other animals, it is just that the products and protocols would have to be “That type of animal-friendly ones”. Such as a products suggested in this book for dogs, may not be suitable for “Other” animals and that would have to be considered and researched first, to make sure of the safety of using them on any other pet, other than a dog. 

PLEAE READ THROUGH TO THE END, rather than just search for an ailment and/or a quick fix or relief.  As there is a specific cycle, timeframe and method in managing, curing and healing issues. There could be a protocol or method that you may have been trying or doing, but something small or significant you could have missed or are doing or not doing a certain way.

So reading through this whole article first, might help you finally find solutions and methods to help your pet combat their issues with ideas and information. (which you can further research). The biggest issue is discovering what the problem or issue is and then using the correct protocol, as in which one, when, how much, how often and why? Most importantly, one must use preventative measures, but also have protocols ready to use and take action before things get out of hand. That is why is very important that you read through this information to get a better basic and logical understanding of the causes and the process of healing for your pet and to apply the appropriate protocol. I am going to bring you through this information and then will list remedies and how to apply them.

Any issue can spread fast and get very unmanageable, so you must consider taking action immediately with proper veterinarian care to halt any issues before it becomes overwhelming and way out-of-hand or cause additional damage. Often some major illnesses or symptoms can get misdiagnosed (getting a second opinion is always good). More common issues have been remedied by various types of allergy medicines or shots offered to help alleviate several allergy issues (especially severe or reoccurring) these can help to take control of the situation, but in most cases the root of the issue will still need to be addressed and managed. Be aware of what the veterinarian is offering or prescribing (look it up if need be, as some medications come with high risks.)

There are even times, when issues can even be resolved for weeks, months or even longer and then may occur again. Much of these cycles, I have learned have to do with what our pets are eating. Difficult is the chore, keeping the outside of your pet from having issues, while feeding them what’s causing it from the inside. Even though I do prefer a more holistic approach, sometimes, once managed and under control, holistic and homeopathic remedies can be of assistance and often needed in additional times of common occurrences. Using managing solutions and healing cures to the skin, while determining what your pet is eating and having the intolerance to (as well as other environmental things) helps cure them on the inside and the outside. I explain and go over usage of homeopathic, holistic and traditional remedies more as you read. I will additionally list every protocol and products, I successfully used.

We need to help our pets because they can’t heal themselves. Yet, some pet owners just give-up as they start to feel they have exhausted all means, trying to help their pets. Yet, we can help our pets feel better, get healthier, even cured and at the least manage their issues, so they can live out their lives healthier, happy and comfortable. It’s just that often, many will look for a quick fix, such as a pill or shot to give to their pets in order to help them get over whatever issue, allergy or symptoms they are having. Some issue are life threatening, but many are not, many-a-times it’s just getting the issue under control, some may require using and repeating protocols daily, weekly or monthly in order to initially start to fully heal.

Lovingly desperate, we try and help our beloved pet. Many of us have relied upon a veterinarians to help diagnosis our pets issues and give us help and advice, so we make trips to the vets office and it can get costly. Often we will take our pets to the same veterinarian regularly, so we feel they should know our pet and be able to help in assisting. Most Veterinarians (just as regular doctors) are “Practicing Medicine(s)” and are governed by using traditional practices, they are able to offer expensive treatments, surgeries and may prescribe many types of medicines (which may be needed). In all fairness, for the most part, they truly are trying to help your pet. Regardless, though you should always be aware of and ask what your veterinarian is offering or prescribing, some are high risk medicines, such as steroids (used only in emergencies) and must be given a specific way and weaned off carefully (some pet owners will resort to these out of desperation).

We want our pets to feel good & be healthy: When they are suffering with an allergy or such, we often seems to be looking for a quick fix, such as a pill or shot to give to our pets to help and get over whatever issue, allergy or symptoms they are having. Some issues can even seem to be resolved for months or even longer and then may occur and again the again an issue happens.. for the most part most importantly, one must have protocols ready to use and take action before things get out of hand. If trying to remedy the symptoms or issue and it is taking to long to heal, one must not hesitate in getting professional advice. Although, certain issues are common and can be dealt with at home with the right care and usage in the correct order to help heal and cure. Some issue are not life threatening, but may require repeating protocols daily or weekly.

However, too many medications, products and practices could possibly be overmedicating your pets and the issues. Trying (using) all the products, medicines and chemicals, all together or one after another can begin to unbalance the natural mantle of the skin (and the system of your pet, All of this will not allowing or give your pets skin a chance or time to renew itself, as it takes time for the skin to shed cell layers and heal. All of this tends to create cycles that seem like an endless battle and the internal system of your pet, trying to process all of it and heal becomes full of built-up extra toxins, that now must be filtered through the pets system and out through the pores.

It can all be an up-and-down roller coaster and exhausting for pet-owner and pet coping with the issue of skin or health. Meanwhile, we must keep our pets from getting to affected areas by having them wear e-collars, caring and watching them, so they don’t break open their healing areas. As we find the solutions, proper protocols and patiently wait for them to heal. I have found successful managing solutions and healing cures, as I will explain in this book.

In any disease or illness; diagnosis, timing and treatment is crucial:   Reading through the information will help you to understand this and why, action is to be taken immediately, not to put off, get the symptoms under control and ultimately find the root and cause of the problem. Which most of the time is linked to what your pet is eating.

#1-Reconizing the symptoms: Food and Environmental allergies can have similar symptoms, it is helpful to be able to recognize the issue as in, is it a rash, flea or bug bite, a hotspot sore, yeast buildup, skin has musty smell, a bump, dandruff, fur loss etc. . Everyday, make a habit of rubbing and petting your pet all over, not just because it feels nice to your pet, but this is one way to feel or take notice of any bumps, sores and such. Often you may only notice one small spot or area, but your pet’s hair could be covering part of or much of the area of the issue and you may not be able to see, just how large it is or how bad
#2-Is it reoccurring, been diagnosed or new issue:  Most of the time, when we notice or recognize something wrong or ailing our pets, we will make an appointment to take them to a professional veterinarian to be examined, checked out and have the issue evaluated. This helps us to find out and know what it is and also be able to recognize it again, if it should happen again (today some may goggle the internet for a quick reference),but it is best to have your pet’s issue evaluated by a professional (you may have even get a second opinion). Once you know what you are dealing with, there are some issues you can remedy and care for by yourself at home, by using the proper protocol. Since there can be many various protocols, knowing the proper ones & in what order to use them, how often and why, can all be crucial.
#3-Taking the appropriate action: Use logic and consider taking action immediately when needed or if the issue is taking to long to remedy or heal, get professional help. If it is something that can be remedied at home, recognize what’s going on from the symptoms and at least get it under control, before it gets out of hand. That’s the tricky part, since it could be from the food your dog is being fed, even from bug-bites, fleas, animal or pet-sibling bites or scratches (from them playing with each other) to the emotions of your pet and any of these can play a large role in causing skin allergy symptoms. Be aware that your pet can scratch an issue on the skin and irritate to the point of bleeding from; a tiny irritations (inside fur) or even an internal issue that goes unnoticed or unseen can start to cause damaged to your pets skin and in turn cause yeast or infections to grow and multiply. Out breaks of hotspots, dermatitis or other skin conditions can occur.  

The culprits and finding remedies can be challenging: Often certain medications, products or specific foods can cause yeast build-up to form and cause the itching, scratching, biting. Even flea bites, bug or insect bites and other outside environments can cause your pets to start the scratching and create bigger issues. Products (such as bug repellants) sprayed upon us or them and around our pets surroundings and even pesticides inside or on the grass can also cause triggers or reactions. As well as, improperly or over washing our pets skin (unbalancing the PH) as normally dogs only need to be bathed (with soaps or shampoos) once every 2-3 months or even just 2-3 times a year depending on dogs living environment unless they roll in dirt or mud and such (but if rolled in grass) they can be rinsed off with clean water, wiped down with dog-safe wipes, others can have added ingredients that may irritate your pet (I have used bath-wipes for dogs by arm and hammer) Brushing your pet more often helps keep their coats clean and removes excess hair and dead skin.

Yeast infection can be blamed for a lot: Yeasty build-up tends to be a common culprit and issue. As in even the healing process of issues, yeast plays a part to some degree. What a pet is fed (and too much of what our dogs are being fed), is causing this imbalance amount of yeast to develop an (naturally some yeast is present, but can get imbalance rather easily) and once within the system (and gut) it’s a cycle that can be difficult to get a grip on as it can cause a host of various issues and symptoms. I’ve had success with using a mixture of 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 purified water) put into a spray bottle or made enough in cleaning larger areas, such as a body rinse (even after shampooing) to balance skin from cleansing and pat dry. In conjunction with that in conjunction with this, I also apply muricin 2% antibiotic ointment (vitamin E oil) or skin soothing balms (as I will explain more, depending on which is needed in the steps in healing process). Often to completely heal issues, these protocols need to be done a couple times a day, for several days or ever other day, not just applied once and as always use an e-collar, so that your pet can not get to the area needing to heal.

Flea medication and remedies: Of course fleas have always been an issue with our animals scratching and itching and I found most dogs are automatically put on flea, tick and heartworm medicines by their veterinarian (just as my dogs had). This will cut down on bites from the fleas causing these issues and that’s important. Yet, even when they were on the flea, tick and heartworm medications and there were no fleas, the allergy symptoms would still appear. Just be aware, flea and heart-worm medicines can become toxic to many dogs, as the suggested for the weight of the dog is such a large variance (such as 40-60lbs) and that can be a big difference if you dogs weight is on the lesser poundage. However, using with caution, the weight specific monthly flea and heart-worm medications can be essential in keeping your dogs skin from fleas, insects bites and other issues. Flea collars can also be very irritaing and may not be effective or could be harmful to your pet. I have found safe and effective, alternative products that work very well; Wondercide, Coat Defense and the use of a flea comb by holding my dogs skin and comb gently, but all over several times to check for fleas as well as continuing to vacuum to rid them of fleas. If I see an area on my pet that seems to be irritated, I will use the same protocol described mixture above (the diluted apple cider vinegar (I like Braggs brand) and equal parts with purified water). I’ve used this in conjunction with my specific aloe soothing spray on the area as well as the muricin 2% ointment to help healing. If need be I will use an e-collar on my dog so that it is not re-irritating that area more by licking, biting or scratching it (so it will have a chance to heal).

Nutrition is the key in all good health: It is proven that nutrition in humans is utmost important in fighting against illness and disease and improper nutrition can cause weak immune systems and yeast. So, this is also a factor for our pets as well. In researching about the way dry kibble pet food is processed and some with horrible chemicals, many even have problems with mites, as they come in large quantities that sit there for a while and a lot of them are just not that fresh. As well the dry kibbles (canned dog-food too), could be lacking in the nutrition that dogs need; as commercial dog foods are convenient and could just be filling our pets up, but not always giving them the nutritional needs dogs really should have and ingredients in them can cause digestive issues and yeast buildup over time. Plus, dogs (as in any pet), may be needing certain vitamins, proteins or such to help with a deficiency. Many dog foods seem to have Ingredients such as : wheat, meat or meal by-products of (some kind), yeast, some various protein break downs and parts of chicken and other animal meats and fish, among various starches, carbs, fruits, sugars, soy, corn and other types of fillers and these seem to cause a lot of skin issues and digestive issues over time, since it’s not what dogs should be eating (and at the least, not everyday).

*It all made sense, since the kibble dry dog foods, fillers, by-products, (animal-meal) chemicals, wheat, corn, chicken, (carbs), certain grains, starchy vegetables and whatever else, in the dog or human foods that was given to my dogs in which may additionally contain carbs or starch (bread, chips, bagels etc. and even peas and potatoes, dairy, fruits and sugars) and these seem to trigger and contribute to the build-up of yeast and allergies symptoms. Plus, where the commercial dog food is made; there could be other products that are manufactured out of that same factory your pet may have allergies too. As well, what is fed by the farmers that raise the animals used for protein in the pet foods, could be things that your dog may be allergic to. This can cause such confusion because the a product you could be feeding your pet may not be suitable, then you try another, but you still won’t get any better results. (I had also read that changing your pets food after several years to one similar that agrees with them and rotate back to original (if it agreed with them) just to give variety and tolerance). So their system doesn’t create an allergy from too much of one thing all the time and become intolerant to it, but not sure if all that is totally true. One must also be cautious of ingredients in the dog cookies and treats, that can cause issues.

Allergy & Antibiotic shots often help: I had tried everything traditional from all the advice of several veterinarians to other dog owners, but nothing was actually curing them. There was relief from the allergy symptoms (itching, scratching and sores), with some holistic remedies and other sufficient products and there are several different types of allergy shots that are given to dogs to help relieve the symptoms and they’re not all very safe to use, but many pet owners will end-up using any of them for their dogs, out of desperation. My vet used a shot called Cytopoint (a protein not a steroid) and a shot called Convenia or Cefovecin (antibiotic) when things got to out of control and unmanageable (where it may have caused wounds or raw skin). Even though it had been recommended to be given to my pet on a weekly or monthly basis, I would only use the Cytopoint shots when needed, usually every 3-6 months or even just once a year (while managing in between) or when and if there was an actual outbreak of a flare-up. Allergy shots such as Cytopoint, helps with managing the symptoms, yet, “it does not preventing the culprits that are triggering them”.

*One must understand that when using allergy shots or allergy remedies, it can help, and the symptoms will seem to be gone. Your pet may be good and they may not need another allergy shot for months. This will all depend upon if still feeding foods that is building yeast or re-visiting a grassy area that could have pesticides or pollen and beginning of new allergy seasons or possibly if pet is being feed some other treats or being bit by fleas, having a yeast issue already or in contact with what triggers the flare-ups once again. Anything of those, could be triggering the allergy. Therefore, the protocol can be deceiving and frustrating, as you may have seen results and there can be flare-ups again. Don’t rule out fleas, just because your pet may not have had an issue with fleas, they could pick-some-up outside or at some other area or place or even an insect bite (ant or mosquito) and  this can prompt them to scratch and itch to cause skin irruptions and these can trigger the flare-ups once again.  The biggest dilemma in healing any issue is to know what to be using as the correct protocol and in which one, when, how much, how often and why?

Patients, Protocols and Diligence are needed:  Knowing whether the symptoms or allergies are being flared-up by food or environmental elements. This can be difficult because even if you had your pet’s food-allergies under control, environmental elements could possibly trigger allergies again, and vice-versa. However, whether you are using proper protocols or making an assessment (in choosing them), if the issue or allergies symptoms are not healing or are already unmanageable, it is important to get assistance from a professional veterinarian (traditional, holistic or homeopathic) that will help in managing and halting the issues. Meanwhile, in trying to help manage your pets symptoms; it often takes a pet having to consistently wearing an E-collar, even when using healing protocols. Especially if you are not able or going to be around your pet, to keep them from getting to their irritated or healing skin. The E-collar can be taken off when your dog is going to eat or go out on walks to go potty or when they go to sleep (unless you are able to watch or listen for them getting at their affected area), but it may be needed while you sleep, so they won’t be getting at the affected areas. 

*I did have success with managing the symptoms and to help heal the rashes and breakouts with some Holistic remedies (all of what I used listed below). I will clean off their paws, when they came in from the outside, when around swampy or grassy areas that may also have been sprayed with pesticides or with environmental allergies especially during pollen season (spray bottle of purified water and a clean rag or safe wipes for dogs) and if sensitive to pollen, avoid going outside in the early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels are at their peak. As well, I also always pick up my dogs poop after they went, even if it was in our own backyard as the dogs run through the backyard, so not for them to get some of it on their paws and cause more bacteria to be brought into the house from on their paws and sweaty-dirty paws also causing them to be excessively licking their dirty paws, that can keep the paws moist and growing yeast issues.

Lack of Exercise Boredom and Emotional & Stress Issues:  When dogs are bored, their needs not met or have emotional or anxiety stress, they will do what comes natural to entertain themselves (chewing, digging, licking) or just seems to be annoying or misbehaving (it’s not their fault). They can not do the things they need by themselves and they must rely upon us to provide and help them. Dogs (like any other animal) has basic needs that must be met, such as; of attention and care, to be fed, some treats, getting out to eliminate to go potty and getting enough exercise and rest. Besides getting what I just listed as basic pet needs, if your dog gets enough attention and exercise (based on breed, size, activity & age) they usually will be more likely to enjoy resting and being more calm and content. Yet, when a pet don’t feel well (for all different reasons), they tend to self-soothe themselves. If your pet is already having allergy symptoms or is feeling stress or bored, this can be a cycle that may create issues for them and their skin. To help boredom, anxiety or stress there are various ways and things pet owners can get or do. Practice a routine each day that you will do for your pet, that helps your pet to know and be able to depend upon. Such as; a schedule or routine, to take them out to potty and making sure they go (watch for their clues that the need to go) and a feeding schedule 2x’s a day and going out to potty may be 2-3 or 4x’s a day) regardless, doing these at a specific time each day, so they know they can depend upon it.  There are also many dog items such as, snuffle mats, interactive dog toys, dog puzzles and many other items. Pets may also suffer from aches and pains in joints and other areas from various reasons and there are supplements for those (such as dasuquin with MSM). CBD or dog calming chews can also help calm a distressed or pet with or having anxieties.

Getting to the root of the problem:  I already knew some of the common culprits of causing allergies and other health issues, as they were: kibbles dry food and many of the ingredients in them, corn, wheat, grains, soy and certain animal proteins due to intolerance (obesity and lack of exercise) and some environmental elements. I also realized that whenever in the past, my dogs ate food with any wheat and chicken, they seemed to develop a skin issue (honestly at first, I was in denial of this). I just did not understand, why my dogs could not eat chicken, while other dogs could without an issue. So, I was making an effort finding dog food, dog cookies and treats with no wheat or chicken (as I was battling to heal my dogs). It was one thing to find grain-free and even corn and soy-free, but chicken and wheat-free as well, that was difficult to find and healthy pet-food toppers started becoming available, companies realizing the pet foods had not been sufficient. As many pet foods will even say; beef or salmon as their main ingredient, but in reading the ingredients, chicken, wheat, yeast or starch is in there and in some kind of form and that also goes for every dog cookie or dog treat out there. You may find an all-beef-bully-sticks for treats and bone chews, as they have a large selection at many of the pet stores, but they can get pricey. I did finally find some suitable dog cookie, treats and healthy crunchy bone treats and with some of them, I use a garden plant-pruner cutting tool, to cut them in half or so, to divide them up and last more days. 

In the the Elimination of specific foods given: In using an elimination diet, I eliminated chicken, wheat, and most grains from my dogs diets and now I was going to additionally avoid giving them any starches, soy, yeast, carbs, grains, fruits, sugar, dairy and other fillers (boy are they going to miss those pieces of bagels I used to give them!) I also gave them probiotics after they eat their meals, as I tried this protocol to clear their gut and where, I felt all the issues may coincide. The elimination diet supported my own suspicions that in order to clear up digestive issues, skin conditions, allergy symptoms and breakouts that the dogs were having; it was going to have to be cleared and healed not only in battling it from the outside of the dog (with the protocols to heal and clean the skin issues), but also with combating it from the inside (as we-humans also do this to help ourselves), from inside the gut. Whereas, I had already seen and had success with healing the wounds on the outside with certain healing products and now to heal the inside gut. As, obesity, malnourished or imbalanced gut and a week or compromised immune system can also cause toxins that come out through the skin.

*NOTE* Now there’s a tricky part to all of this because there are different situations that have to be understood and realized, while trying to figure-out what is causing issues with your pet (whether food or environment), especially when your pet already has an allergy or flare-up. So, unless the allergy symptoms or issue was already in the process of healing or cleared-up, it will make it difficult to distinguish what’s causing it or the true tolerance  of what you fed them.  This is where I feel it may become most frustrating, so with this in mind; if your pet is healing while on the elimination (restrictive diet as described above and below), then keep on the same foods that seem to be healing them. If not healing try another single animal protein and repeat.

The main feeding protocol when using Elimination Diet: I only fed my dogs cooked animal proteins, beef (med to med rare) preferably steak-meat cut up and cooked lamb and cooked fish, salmon is a good one (fresh fish is always better than canned), but I keep on hand canned (the lowest sodium ones) salmon, mackerel, sardines plain in water and occasionally give them cooked shrimp, cooked ground beef or pork. So, whatever meat protein, I knew they weren’t allergic to by trying each one individually and then added a little amount of some non-starchy veggies; such as chopped up carrots, green beans or kale (stems removed). I only give broccoli (florets-tops not stem part) once in awhile, as it can be gassy for their digestion (I had to mix in the veggies and cover it with the meat or fish protein for my picky dog). I did this for 2 weeks faithfully (may need to do this process 4-6 weeks) as I would feed 1 type of animal or fish protein at a time) and I saw good results . I had to still be aware of any bug bites, as this causes flare-ups all over again (and living in an RV and camping out in woods there’s much opportunity for that).

*NOTE*- After fully getting it under control and their skin had all cleared up, kept doing this for a couple more weeks and they had not been excessively scratching, itching, licking or biting. I kept giving them the meat protein and occasionally a non-starch veggies and as I added a dog food (I found, called “Solid Gold” brand canned beef dog as I tried this one, staying away from dry-food kibbles, but there are several grain-free food, few ingredient dog food choices (just be careful to check ingredients). I adjusted the portions appropriately and kept giving them the fresh cooked meats or fresh fish and rotating the cooked meats and fish and once in awhile tuna fish, salmon or mackerel in the can and non-starchy veggies (re-proportioned) as toppers to the canned dog food.

*In the event that I did not have fresh made meats or fish to cook and add to my dogs food as toppers, I would always keep on hand, (Nulo brand freeze dried meat organs) to add to their canned solid gold dog food. Eventually, I gave (as a treat once in awhile), some Greek plain yogurt (just as a treat only now and then), but there’s only 1 brand I found around here that was safe enough called FAGE 2% Greek yogurt. I found that this one was okay to give to dogs, it has no sugar or sugar substitutes that are dangerous to dogs or bad stuff added. Once in awhile I would give blueberries and strawberries too (you can grind them up in a blender and then mix it into their foods if they won’t eat it alone. I also would mix tumeric herb powder and coconut oil. I make a paste and I would add it to their food once in awhile, but not everyday. Turmeric helps reduces inflammation and helps in healing and coconut oil (can be used on them as well, just not everyday) . I have also given supplement-vitamins of fish oil or a fatty acid such as omega-3 or omega-6 oil , they can also get these vitamins from feeding fresh or canned salmon, sardines or other canned fish. Pure canned pumpkin ( plain) can also help if stools are runny or diarrhea, give until better. I have also given my dogs a safe and pure Aloe Vera that I list below in protocols. Yet, if diarrhea is not better within 2 days, get your dog to the doctors to have checked.

*So if they had flareups as I added things , I knew which was causing it and I eliminated that to totally (that’s how I figured out the chicken and wheat was causing some of it), but eventually found flea bites, really made havoc on my senior doggie.. Even just if I only found one on her!!

*I can say, after these protocols, it has been more manageable and my dogs have clear skin, shiny coats and are not excessively itching, scratching or licking at all (only to groom themselves or an occasional self-soothing when trying to calm themselves). Not that my dogs (or any pet) will ever not scratch, lick or itch themselves, they do. As my dogs themselves are subjected to insects and such many times, as we do a lot of outside living. So, If I notice an area here and there that could have been a reaction to a bug bite or whatever and was irritated by my dogs scratching, I quickly clean the area and use whichever protocol needed to help soothe and heal it and it goes away. “So there may be an irritation or skin upset again, even after your pet is healed, but learning to manage these skin upsets if and when they occur with a proper protocol immediately, is to keep it from becoming unmanageable and constantly frustrating or aggravating, to either my pet or myself”

Keeping up hope and following through: Once I knew what foods now to feed my dogs and what to avoid giving them (and stuck to it), and to just stay away from things dog just shouldn’t eat, regardless of what is offered, advertised and out on the shelves or online for us to buy. Our dogs ancestors may have been wolves, but our pets are domesticated and it gets a little trickier because their systems, emotions, environments, owners behaviors and surroundings can all vary and all have specific needs, and they are not the same as a wild dog outside.. For each dog may have different levels of activity, grooming needs, sensitivities, triggers of allergies and the owners availability of funds and time.

*I had come to the conclusion, that the elimination diet did help me figure out what foods my dogs were having issues with, but I also learned dogs, just should not be eating things that dogs, just should not be eating, regardless (whether the social media internet, google, veterinarian or others say it’s “safe for dogs to eat”). As, I find some of those things “safe for dogs to eat” as in potatoes, cheese, yogurt, certain fruits etc..to be only given may be, as a treat once in awhile or even not at all and only if your pet has a very clean gut and healthy system.. I also realize that some dogs can develop seasonal allergies and could be more sensitive to certain foods and environmental things then other dogs. Some dogs also like to groom themselves more than others and it may appear that they are reacting from allergies, but could be just cleaning themselves and Most often dogs get a bug bite or an irritation from some thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an allergy and it may go away within a day or week or so and may call for the dog to have some kind of protocol, as mentioned in above protocols.

*Also discovering that, there are seasonal blooms in certain months, different areas and variety of household or laundry cleaners, chemicals, dust and other environmental things that may trigger allergies again, even if you had their food allergies under control. If your dog seems to be sensitive to pollen season, avoid going outside in the early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels are at their peak. Cleaning out AC vents is beneficial because pollen, dust mites and dander are allergens known to stick and get trapped in them as well. For all and any-dogs walking in dirty or wet roads, grass (swampy) and grass that pesticides may be on, make sure to clean and wipe their paws coming in from the outside.  Keep lawns mowed and keep pets out of high grown fields. The same mixture and remedy (in above chapters) of “Apple Cider Vinegar”, which must  ALWAYS BE DILUTED with equal parts of purified water, can be used also on your pet for flare-ups from food, pollen, seasonal and environmental allergies.

One fix does not fit all or any issue: It’s not one fix or one thing that fixes all, but it’s been much better for my dogs and it has cleared up the constant issues they were having. Remember when using homeopathic, holistic remedies and even with traditional methods, it’s not always going to be a quick fix, as it takes time to see results and you may have to repeat the use of some homeopathic or holistic remedies a couple times a day to ensure the consistency for healing.

***Here’s the Protocols; that I saw successful results with.****

1. Yeast issues cause fungus, bacteria and issues can grow fast, “Apple Cider Vinegar also known as ACV (I use Braggs) any brand must be DILUTED with equal parts of purified water and I put the mixture in a spray bottle and rub it into the affected area and you can also make enough mixture up to use as a whole body skin and fur rinse (careful not to get it into their eyes), just apply, rub it in, then rinse and towel pat dry or you can apply with square cosmetic cotton pads where needed. I also use the mixture put into a spray bottle and can spray it on areas on their skin, in tops of inner ears and such (if their skin or outbreak is very raw or bleeding, wait a day or two) and use a skin soothing balm by natural dog company, or muricin ointment 2%, aloe-vera and vitamin E oil depending what the need calls for), until it calms down. Use an E-collar in the meantime. This way your pet does not get to it and irritate area even more and gives a chance for skin to heal. This solution (along with using the e-collar), seems to really work well on yeast issues on the skin, outbreaks, paws and yeastie-ear issues. The Apple cider vinegar (must be diluted with purified water 50/50) as it could have a burning or stinging effect, but diluted as a cleanser for the skin it can balance the pH of the skin, so it help to heal the skin (be careful around eyes, if needing to use in that area, use q-tips on precise areas, but do not use a q-tip down in dogs ear) and in cleaning the ears, (there is a proper way to do so), the dogs ear canals are “L”-shaped and I use cotton cosmetic squares pads and apply that solution (not too saturated), but enough to clean down inside, using a new cotton pad until clean (my one dog seems to need his ears kept clean more often than my other dog). So, I always keep a check on them and when I see build-up I clean them. Remembering to comfort your pet as you apply any types of medicines or healing products. After using any skin protocols and the outbreaks start to heal, I will often put vitamin-e oil and massage that into the drying scab or dry skin and that helps to relive that and heal, to also help grow hair back (has to be done a couple times a day as healing and even while the hair is growing back.

2.“Skin Soother” is a balm in a tin, by natural dog company and it works really well for rashes and other skin issues (clean area then gently, rub in well). I’ve used it on their paws in between their paws, carefully around eyes and I’ve used it on different rashes on their bodies it’s been very healing.. They have a Facebook page as well and they have other products as well and they are not only for their paws and noses!! For flea and mosquito control I use Coat Defense, it is a powder that you just sprinkle a little at a time on your pet (a little goes a long way) and rub into their fur and skin, it works real well, I only have to apply it once in awhile or whenever I know my dogs are going to be out where they will be outside for awhile and mosquitoes and flying bugs may bother them. Coat Defense Company also makes a Paste for the skin issues (as with ANY PRODUCT used, I always take a clean utensil to remove product from container) and with this “paste product” it is tricky to use, I add a little water to it before well for some skin irritations, but it has to be applied thin and removed with a clean warm water towel or rag gently after it dries as it creates a hard substance and must use with caution. I only use this paste product to calm down an area and then after it dries and heals the sores, I just gently use a warm water towel or rag to remove it. As mentioned I also keep on hand Muricin ointment 2% (it is an antibiotic ointment for dogs (and humans).

3. I use specific Aloe Vera products (one is a spray called aloe-first vet formula, another is the aloe gelly, the aloe moisturizing lotion and the aloe juice drink called Aloe Vera gel-juice for dogs only the one in yellow bottle ), these products I have been using myself and for my pets since the 80’s, it’s the only Aloe Vera product that has been successful in help with healing my pets with many ailments (including my own, my friends and family’s), over the years. I had given these products to anyone that needed it. I am a fulltime RV-er now on the road, it is not as easy to do that anymore, so I made a link to purchase and get products mailed out. If interested in them; the link to website and to get a discount as well is https://myhealingaloevera.flp.com

4. Clearing the gut and regeneration of new cells, I think this worked so well, by avoiding any chicken (and any other meat protein your dog may be allergic to), wheat, starches, soy, yeast, carbs, grains, fruits, sugar and dairy. Doing this faithfully for at least 2 weeks or longer until you see results. Once you see successful results, start incorporating dog food (I use solid gold brand, beef canned trying this one), I mix the fresh cooked (not over-cooked) meat protein (preferably steak pieces or fish (and keep portions correct for size of animal) and the non-starchy vegetables (optional), that I would mix in and I continued to give a probiotic treat after their meals. Some treats I’ve found that did not cause issues are made by (the hive company bee treats, nature gnaw company bones, great choice company beef and sweet potato wraps) and As a treat only once in a while, I gave them some yogurt (now and then), the brand I found is called FAGE 2% plain Greek yogurt, I found that was okay to give them, as it has no sugar, dangerous sugar substitute or bad stuff added. In the event that I did not have fresh made meats or fish bought to add to my dogs food, I would always keep on hand, (Nulo brand freeze dried meat organs) to add to their canned solid gold dog food . After keeping our pet on an eliminating diet and see good results, you can add foods as I did, you will then make a note of what was given, in case of any new flare-ups. So you’ll know if it’s something to avoid. If I could just feed my dog (and knew exactly the amount of what) fresh cooked proteins, veggies and such that they could eat daily and appropriate vitamins, minerals needed, I would do that and not even give them any commercially made food at all. As the few weeks I had done just that, they seemed to be the most cleared from their skin issues. So, I may re-investigate that notion in the near future!! I am always trying to learn better nutrition for dogs and on the lookout for healthy dog foods, one I may try is called “Sundays”. Let me know if any of you tried that for your dogs?

**Yet, once removing, not using or cutting out, all the things that seemed to be giving them outbreaks, keeping their meals stricter and no human snacks-sharing, that dogs could eat (because of those sad eyes begging), having them eat only what dogs should be eating, it can became more manageable. I noticed much improvement from limiting taking my dogs in lawn-grassy, swampy, moldy, yeast or pollen possible areas . My one doggie has to still wear her e-collar (now and then) when I have to leave her if she is having a flareups that needs tending to and I’m not there to watch her or if she gets a bug bite or has anxieties . She also likes to groom herself a bit. I will use an E-collar, but take it off if I take her outside for a walk and to rub her to sleep at night. If she happens to get what may be a bug bite and if I see her staring to gnaw or she has an occasional flare-up, I use my protocols of ACV diluted with purified water, healing balms, aloe Vera and remedies of such and the E-collar is back on, just in case to keep her from getting to any area they may need to heal.

It took me awhile to figure out the things that were causing my dogs flare-ups and to find solutions in coping and managing my dogs allergy issues. In using successful protocols, food & treats that my dogs could eat and not cause issues and learning to be aware of other possible things that could be causing them to have flare-ups or trigger allergies symptoms, it’s been much better!

I pray this information will help others. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions on what to use and of how much or the process in which protocol in what order to do so, for what issue..

Please let me know what you are going through with your pet, what you have tried and what has not helped or has helped your pet. Thank You!

Feel free to ask me any question you may have about any of the protocols, products or how to use them, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

C .Star. V