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Monthly Archives: November 2016

When is Flea and Tick Season?

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Fleas and ticks can make your pets’ lives miserable – not just uncomfortable, but downright dangerous. Let’s start out this little discussion by remembering that my concern is all for the pets. I know that treating for these pests can be annoying, tough to remember and downright expensive, but remember the alternative. A dog or cat that has been infested by fleas can be more than just uncomfortable. They can scratch themselves to painful degrees, develop allergies, sores, lose their hair and your house can end up infested with a continuous cycle. And ticks? Ticks are more than just gross little bloodsuckers. A single tick can make a dog incredibly sick with any number of diseases, some of which can actually cause a symptom known as tick paralysis.

Trying to avoid the expense of tick treatment? Here’s some valuable pet advice for you. Stop for a second and just imagine what the cost of treating a dog that’s come down with Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever would be, and all of a sudden you’re going to understand the old saying about “an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.” Not to mention the pain of seeing your dog lethargic and sick and knowing that you could have prevented it.

So, back to the question: when is flea and tick season? Well, that depends on where you live. Let’s start with ticks. Though there’s no doubt that peak tick season is when it gets warm out, that’s really more about the fact that we’re out more when it’s warm then about the fact that the ticks are out more. The truth is that ticks live all year round, pretty much everywhere. Different kinds of ticks live in different parts of the country, but if your dog is outside a lot, especially in wooded areas, then you need to worry about ticks all year long.

Fleas are a bit easier to predict, because they really aren’t around when it’s cold. So if you’re in an area that has actual seasons, with snow and ice and temperatures under the freezing mark for a couple of months, then you can probably take a break when things are at their absolute coldest. But as soon as things outside start greening up, it’s time to start the flea treatment. And if you live in an area that’s referred to by that lovely term “temperate”, then you need to treat for fleas all year long too. That’s the price you pay for all that nice weather.

Keeping your dogs and cats protected from fleas and ticks is a vitally important part of being a pet owner, and it’s one of my top tips about pets.

How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?

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I admit that I don’t drink enough water. I drink when I’m thirsty, I have my coffee in the morning and my big mug of chamomile at night, and that seems like it’s enough. Funny how I’m that way about myself, but when it comes to tips about pets and how much water they’re supposed to drink, I’m just as much of a nudge as those fit friends of mine. And don’t get me started on when I walk into a pet-owner’s house and find an empty water bowl. That’s when my pet advice turns into a pet lecture!

So how much is a dog or cat supposed to drink? And how can you tell whether they’re getting enough? Those are good questions, and sometimes tough to answer since our pets often drink when we’re not watching.

There actually is a rule of thumb for all pets that veterinarians use when they’re giving out pet advice, and it’s a pretty easy one to remember. Every day your pet should take in about an ounce for every pound of weight. Like I said, easy to remember, but maybe not so easy to monitor. After all, if you’re like me you just grab the bowl whenever it’s about halfway empty, dump it and refill it with fresh water. Who knows how much they’re actually drinking?

If you want to be really meticulous about it, you can measure how much water your pet’s bowl holds and keep track of how often it empties. Of course, that doesn’t work if you have more than one animal, and it also means that you would need to let the bowl get pretty low – not a good thing. The good news is that most pets will drink when they need to, so your big responsibility is to make sure that it’s always accessible. If your pets are outdoor and indoor residents, make sure there are bowls in both places. And if it’s hot out, encourage a bit more water drinking. Sometimes popping an ice cube or two into the water bowl can make drinking a fun game that ensures that your pet is well hydrated.

If you’re worried that your pup (or cat) isn’t drinking enough, there are a couple of things you can keep your eyes open for, most notably sunken, dry-looking gums and eyes. If that happens, make a quick call to your vet. They’re sure to want to see your pet soon to check what’s going on.

ROAD TRIPS WITH YOUR PETS!

Traveling with pets in your car can be very enjoyable.  You just need to be prepared and make sure you take some measures to keep them safe and happy.

Before you embark on your journey, you need to take several things into consideration.  Letting your dog ride in the front seat is very dangerous.  Allowing them to ride on the drivers lap can distract the driver and cause accidents.  If you allow them to ride on the passengers lap, when the airbag is engaged the pet can be seriously injured, or worse.  Barriers will keep your pet from climbing into the front seat and this is very important, however they still need to be restrained in a Pet Car Seat.

Traveling with pets requires a lot of forethought on how you are going to keep them safe and happy.  A Pet Car Seat will allow them to sit up higher so they can look around and you can attach their harness to restrain them from being tossed around.  Plus the Pet Car Seat is soft and comfortable for a more enjoyable ride for them.  There are several different types of Car Seats, so take your time and research which one would be best for your pet.

Larger dogs are better off either in a Kennel large enough for them to stand and turn around or lay down, or with a Large Harness to keep them from being tossed around.

You will also want to pack plenty of water, treats and toys for your dog.  Make sure you stop often enough to give them water.  On average a small dog weighing approx 10 lbs would need between 5 to 10 oz. per day.  Puppies need to have water every couple of hours.  So plan plenty of water stops while traveling with pets.  Bringing their favorite toy from home will also keep them happy and busy.

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Now that you have given your pet plenty of water, you need to also allow for a potty break and stretching of the legs.  If they are happy, you will be happy too.

A common mistake a lot of people make is leaving their dog in the car while they run in to a store or stop for breakfast at a restaurant.  This can be extremely dangerous for your pets.  If you are traveling in the summer or through one of the hotter states,  Do Not Leave your pet in the car.  The temperature in the car is much higher than it is outside and your pet could get very sick.

We travel with a feisty MalShih, a ShihTzu and a Sun Conure.  Making sure they have their bags packed with their treats and toys has saved us from a lot of stress. With some pre-planning, your trip traveling with pets will be fun and enjoyable for all.  Your trip will be less stressful and your pets will appreciate your extra efforts.