What Dog Owners Need to Know About Worms

Like any other owner, you want your pup to be a strong happy rascal. A healthy diet and warm love are great, but there are certain diseases out there that can hurt your canine friend. Worms are notorious for causing problems for pups, especially young ones. Most of the time preventative treatment and shots will keep these parasites at bay, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

The many types of worms

Heartworms are one of the most renowned parasites that your pup can get. It is delivered by mosquitos when they feed off your pup and the larva enters the bloodstream. The worms collect primarily in the heart and associated areas, hence the name heartworm. Preventative measures are common as veterinarians vaccinate regularly and offer treatments for this condition.

photoAside from the notorious heartworm, there are other types of parasite that feed off of your pup. Tapeworms are a rather uncomfortable parasite that feeds in your pup’s digestive system. Like in a human, the worm saps energy by absorbing the B vitamins in the intestines. Pups will normally be less active as their energy levels are dropped. As the tapeworm drops segments and they pass out of your pup and into the yard and appear to look like wiggling grains of rice. Flea larvae will feed on the segments which contain eggs. The flea then feeds on your pup and when your doggy gets the itch, they will scratch, lick and bite. If the flea gets eaten, the larvae will spawn in your pup’s belly and produce tapeworms. Keeping other animals out of the yard, and the yard or litter box clear of fecal material will reduce the chances of your pup catching this parasite.

Roundworm is a very nasty parasite especially in young pups. It is contracted commonly through infected dirt or feces but can pass from mother to pup easily. In a young pup, the eggs hatch in a pup’s stomach and move into the lungs by way of the circulatory system. Here they will cause coughing and vomiting. As they cough the larvae up, the parasite is re-ingested and enters the intestines. The effects are diarrhea and vomiting which can put a damper on your pup’s activities. As a pup ages, commonly around six months, they develop a natural resistance to roundworm, but young puppies are very susceptible to the parasite. Keep curious pups safe by making sure their environment is clean and healthy. They want to explore the world and everything in it, so make sure that they don’t discover any parasites.

Both hookworm and whipworm are vicious blood suckers- literally. They feed off of your pup’s blood. These parasitic worms are contracted through infected dirt and feces or through the mammary glands of the mother. The parasites hatch in your pup’s intestines and latch on to the surface, feeding off of your pup’s blood. These are a more difficult problem to diagnose as the worms are not as easily noticeable in stool. Pups will usually suffer from less energy and diarrhea. If the condition is disregarded, and the infestation grows too large for too long- anemia can develop in your pup. It is a condition when the red blood cell count becomes low, and your pup will become far less active.

Keep your yard clean along with your dog litter box

These parasites can definitely ruin your pup’s day. The best preventative measure you can do is to make sure your pup gets their regular shots and vaccinations. Aside from that, it is recommended that you keep your yard clear of fecal material. If you have a grass litter box, be sure to be consistent in clearing poop.  Because these parasites can transfer to us humans as well, cover up playground equipment and sand boxes to prevent other animals from doing their business there. Keep your pup vaccinated and keep your yard clear of parasites so that your pup will be able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

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Massaging Your Dog

The bond you share with your pup is special; it is something that is reinforced by time and respect. There are many things you can do to spend time with your four-legged friend, like a walk in the park or a game of fetch. But after all that exercise, sometimes it is nice to get a good massage. Not only for you, but your doggy enjoys them as well.

Relaxing and bonding time

photoSpending a few minutes relaxing your pup can help with many things. Anxiety can cause unsettlement in a pup when they know something is going on. Even though you may not be aware of it, dogs know when you are about to leave, or even when they are going to the groomers or vet. Giving your pup a nice massage can calm them and relieve stress. Plus it helps build that bond between the two of you.

Rub your pups coat gently, letting your fingers move their skin around in soft circular motions. Just petting your pup does not loosen their muscles, your fingers rubbing against their flesh is quite relaxing, the same as it is on a human. Starting close to the ears, you can relieve the stress often associated with car sickness (motion sickness). Since the inner ear controls balance and direction, a pup often loves it when you massage the neck and ear area. Just be careful if your doggy has had some ear infections recently, as that may only cause discomfort. Another massage favorite is the chest area. Laying your pup on their side, you can lift their foreleg up and stretch their legs apart. Then you can begin to rub their chest in a clockwise motion. Do not rub the other direction because the clockwise motion is necessary. It is the direction that their circulatory system flows and helps to assist the blood flow. This particular massage stimulates their heart and lung area, keeping your pup healthy and happy.

The paw massage

Another favorite that can ease the stress of clipping toenails, is the paw massage. It is similar to a hand massage for humans, and has the same relaxing effect. You start out by spreading their pads and toes apart and rubbing each individually. Rub gently, so that you do not hurt them or cause discomfort. This stimulates blood flow into the paw, keeping their pads healthy and strong. You can take advantage of the situation to inspect their pads for sores or other problems. If you can you may sneak in a quick nail clipping (some pups don’t like this). After you’ve finished rubbing their pads, hold their paw in your hand for a few seconds and then release. This massage can be one of your pup’s favorites as it is very calming. Some pups don’t like you messing with their feet though, so be careful with this technique.

So next time you and your pup got a little bit of time to spend together, give him a good massage to ease his stress. With a good healthy pup by your side, you two can enjoy a great life together.

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Tips for Taking Your Dog Out on a Boat

photoGreat weather IS a great time for everybody to go out of doors. Not just people but pets as well. You could do all sorts of fun activities outdoors such as camping, swimming, hiking or even sailing. While going on these activities it would be great if you can bring your dogs along right? You can have so much fun with your pet during a boating activity and your dog in turn will have lots of fun in this adventure also. Nowadays lots of dog owners are already bringing their dogs out to sea with them.

While it is great to be able to bring your dog out on a boat to go sailing, it would be best if you can think about some safety precautions as well to avoid instances of drowning and other dog accidents on board a boat that might possibly ruin what is supposed to be a great day out on sea.

Here are a few important points to consider when planning a boat ride with your dogs:

  1. If you are planning on doing a little fishing while going on a boat adventure with your dog, be sure to keep all of your fishing gear in a safe place that is unreachable by your dog. Dogs are curious about everything so he might get a little bit curious of the bait and hooks and possibly hurt himself while checking those things out. This could really hurt your dog.
  2. Make sure that your dog has his own retreat place for when the sun is too hot for him. Bring along his water bowl and lots of fresh water also for him to drink. Dogs do get dehydrated and in order to avoid this, he will need access to fresh water all the time. Don’t let your dog drink lots of salt water. This is not a good thing for him.
  3. Once you get your dog on board the boat, you have to be able to watch him especially when the boat is moving. If this is your dog’s first time, he might get antsy or nervous so it is important to be there to soothe the dog if he is scared. You would want him to enjoy his sailing experience and not the opposite. If after the first time, he is still scared of the boat then it might be a good idea to leave him home the next time that you go boating. You can always try again at other times to get your dog to come boating and be more comfortable with sailing.
  4. It is very important that when your dog is out at sea that you equip him with a PFD (Pet Flotation Device). Regardless if your dog’s breed is adept at water and no matter your dogs’ size, you should make them wear the PFD. This will also help to lessen anxiety on your part. The PFD is really helpful especially if your dog goes overboard accidentally then this will really help. Even if your dog loves the water, the sea is a very different environment compared to a pool or tub and dogs sometimes don’t realize this so a PFD really comes in handy.
  5. Understand that your dog does not have protection on his paws. The boat’s deck might be too hot for his paws so do check out the temperature of the boats’ deck periodically.
  6. When you go boating and want to check out an island then be on the lookout for your dog too. You have to remember that he is not wearing any protection on his paws and he might get stung by crabs or other sharp things on the beach that might hurt him and ruin his experience. Please also be a good pet owner and make sure that when your dog poos, that you pick it up and dispose of his waste properly.
  7. Set some limits on the time that your dog spends playing on sand and swimming in the sea. Don’t let him get too exhausted.

The tips are just some of the ways that you can make your boating experience with your dog more enjoyable and safe and free of any anxiety and bad experiences. After all you would want to have a really great time with your dog out on the sea and give him a wonderful time as well with you.

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