About Dog Care Knowledge

Hello, my name is Sharon, and I am the voice, creator, passion, and yes, "knowledge" behind Dog Care Knowledge.  I talk a lot about dogs, always have, so thought I should take a few moments to tell you a little bit about me and my love of dogs.

I’ve cared for dogs for over 30 years.  First with my own dogs (six in total) and then when I opened my own doggie daycare center looking after 20 - 30 dogs a day. 

I'm certified by the Animal Care College in canine behavior and am also certifed in natural health care for pets.  Both of those qualifications have enabled me to become a fully accredited petcare professional.  

My purpose in creating this website is to "help you, help your dog."  But before I can do that, let me tell you how I obtained my "knowledge" and why you can trust me.

My Qualifications/Knowledge

In 1996 I became certified by the Animal Care College in Understanding the Canine/Human Interface. 

The College is based in the UK and has a strong reputation in animal care education. Certificates and diplomas from the Animal Care College are universally recognized throughout the animal care industry.

My areas of expertise here were dog psychology, canine behavior, training problems, and dog aggression. 

All of which was put to good use at the doggie daycare and with my own dogs.

Understanding the Canine/Human Interface Certificate

I stay current on all aspects of caring for dogs and have most recently earned a certification in natural health care for pets.   This covered holistic dog care including; practical use of healing herbs, aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies, traditional Chinese medicine, and healing massage.

I choose to do this to educate myself on alternative treatments for my dog's minor issues and decided to share that knowledge with my readers.

If like me, you're looking for natural remedies to treat a variety of ailments in dogs, I urge you to browse through my website. Here you'll find some simple solutions to everyday problems with dogs. Many of which you can make at home.

I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Centenary College, NJ, before earning my Master's Degree of Business Administration  (MBA) also from Centenary College, NJ. 

Although not related to dog care, the MBA certainly helped with setting up and running my own dog-related business.  It also gave me a solid foundation for systematically conducting research and presenting the information concisely in a logical conclusion.

Professional  Life

I'm the founder and (prior) owner of K9 to 5 Doggie Day Care. I started the business with a couple of dogs a day, which quickly multiplied to where I was caring for 20 - 30 dogs daily.  This soon required hiring additional staff and even adding a grooming service.  It's also where I learned that many dogs suffer from the same skin and behavioral issues that I was facing with my dogs.

K9 to 5 Doggie Day Care

Professional Affiliations

When writing new pages, or updating existing ones, I use a combination of my knowledge, life experiences, and continued research and study of dog care to ensure the information I share is always current and up-to-date.

To stay knowledgeable on all aspects of caring for dogs, I am a member of the following organizations:

  • Animal Care College 
  • College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
  • Accredited Petcare Professional
  • Pet Professional Guild
  • National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW)
  • Dog Writers Association of America

It is from these reputable organizations that I attain valuable information, sometimes exclusive, that I share with you. 

Personal Life Experiences

To date (2019), and over the last 30+ years, I've shared my home with five German Shepherd and one mixed-breed Labrador.  Not, may I add, all at the same time, but I do usually have two together.  At present, I only have one German shepherd, Ava, and she is my world.

I've raised all my dogs from puppyhood, except the mixed lab (Buster), he was a rescue.  So I'm experienced in all the puppy problems new owners face, like house training, walking nicely on a leash, stopping them biting (a particularly important one with shepherds) and of course, socialization of puppies.

Hudson & Ava by the lakeMe with Hudson and Ava (as a puppy)

Then There's the Issues

German shepherds are my absolute favorite breed (no surprise there, I've had 5) although they do come with a whole host of behavioral and health problems of which I've had my fair share. In particular, I find myself dealing with multiple and repeated skin problems from allergies to yeast infections and everything in-between.  

For instance, Hudson suffered severely from dry skin and dandruff during the winter, and my other dog, Ava, is the queen of allergies and ear infections, usually year-round.

And Emergencies

I've also lived through many emergencies and illnesses with my dogs as well as those at the daycare.  The most common issues at the daycare were diarrhea, cut paws, and separation anxiety.  Not to mention the puppies trying to eat everything and get into all sorts of trouble.  They certainly kept me on my toes at the daycare.

Puppies playing at a day carePuppies playing at K9 to 5 Doggie Day Care

At home, my dog, Hudson, developed Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) causing his back legs to be paralyzed requiring a doggie wheelchair.  Given his skin issues, it became vital that I resolve his itchy skin as he could no longer use his back legs to scratch.  If I didn’t find a way to help him, he literally would have an itch he couldn’t scratch.

Ava with Hudson in his doggie wheels

Ava, on the other hand, has had bloat…twice.  Bloat is a life-threatening condition in dogs where the stomach expands and, if you can't relieve the gas, then flips over.  If this happens, you have roughly one hour to get your dog to a veterinarian before it becomes fatal.

During one episode of bloat, Ava’s stomach twisted requiring emergency surgery to flip it back and staple it in place. To say she has a sensitive stomach is an understatement so I have to be very careful with her diet and exercise.  She can still get bloat, but the chances of her stomach flipping again are less than 5% (apparently).  I, therefore, needed to find natural remedies for her skin allergies as I don’t want her to have too many medications that may upset her stomach.  

Given Hudson’s paralysis and Ava’s sensitive stomach, I found natural alternatives for their skin and health problems.  This is a good place for me to mention that the information and advice I give on this site is not an alternative to taking your dog to a professional veterinarian.  If you need medical advice or if your dog is sick or injured there is no substitute for taking your dog to your veterinarian.

The information you find here is intended to support your veterinarian’s advice not replace it.  Having said that, there are tons of things you can do to prevent many problems from starting or to stop small issues escalating.  Both of which should keep your dog healthy and out of the vets.

For Fun

In my spare time, you’ll find me competing and volunteering at nose work events throughout the country. 

My dog, Ava, has multiple titles in canine scent work.  Ava is full of beans and full of life, thankfully the trials keep her occupied and focused.  

If I’m not competing, then I’m probably behind the scenes volunteering.  Although I’ve done most jobs at trials, I’m usually in the score room as I’m a score room lead for the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW).  

GSD finding odor on vehicleAva 'indicating' where the odor is on a vehicle during a nose work trial.

I've spent the last decade or so focusing on helping my own dogs and other dog parents to improve the health of their pets through natural remedies. 

I'm certified in Natural Health Care for Pets; which covers natural nutrition, holistic treatments, aromatherapy, traditional Chinese medicines as well as the emotional and spiritual aspects of companion animals.  You'll find plenty of tips and advice from that course on the pages of my website.

So, To Answer the Question: How Can I Help You, Help Your Dog?

Simple, the information on this website can help if....

  • Your dog suffers from some kind of skin, paw, or ear issue.
  • You have a new puppy and just want to know where to start and what to expect.
  • You find your training isn't going to plan.  
  • You want to try some alternative, natural therapies for common issues – I can help with that too.  You'll find tons of suggestions sprinkled throughout each page.

Whatever you want to know about caring for your dog, let my experiences, knowledge, and passion guide you in helping your dog.  You can master the basics of dog care and training and avoid the pitfalls, many of us have already fallen down.....and come out the other side - wiser!

It's like having a good friend or family member that has tons of experience with dogs that you can turn to with dog-related questions.  That's how the information on this website can help you, help your dog! 

Why not take a peek through my website.  This site is a collection of my knowledge, research, and experiences that's involved in caring for dogs. I am a dog lover, entrepreneur, and overall problem solver.  If you have any comments, suggestions, or criticisms, feel free to contact me, I'm always happy to hear from fellow dog lovers.