Spring is in the air

The latest scoop – and I hope you do – on your dog.
Well spring has sprung and now more then ever it is so pleasant to take your dog for a walk or just let him/her run outside and get rid of all that energy.  However, spring has many hazards for your dog.  Here are some of the most important:
    1.    Ticks are an ever present danger for your dogs.  They are easily picked up and can be the source of many illnesses.  The best way to counteract this is prevention.  Of course, this can be discussed with your vet.    There are many preventative remedies to be found.  But.  Beware of false claims.
2.    Heartworm disease again can be easily contracted; it is transmitted by mosquitoes.  It is a serious disease that mainly affects the heart and lungs.  It can also affect the liver, kidneys, eyes and central nervous system.  If untreated it can kill your dog.  Again consult your vet. for treatment, vaccination.  Don’t leave it too late.
3.    This is the time when many people, like me, are fertilizing our gardens.  Fertilizers contain many potentially, toxic chemicals.  There are now, however, some pet friendly fertilizers on the market.  Read the directions first.  Also beware of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.  Be especially careful in your use of slug bait.
4.    Although bees are our friends and there appears to be  problems within the bee population, they can be vey harmful to your dog.  How many times have I seen Roversnapping at bees only to catch and swallow one.  If your dog romps  into a bee nest and is stung by many bees, then it is time to take him/her to your vet,  post haste.
5.    Beware of thawing ice and swollen creeks.  It is best to keep your dog on a leash when dangerous, streams ponds are in the vicinity.
I think the underlying fact here is that you should have a healthy relationship with your vet and take your pet see him/her for regular check-ups.

To Treat or not to Treat

That is indeed an important question in regard to man’s best friend.
We all like to reward our dog from time to time. However there are some “treats” that are anything but.
Avoid the following treats that look quite harmless at first glance.
Avocado, chocolate, caffeine, grapes and raisins, ice cream, onions, salty things, raw or uncooked meat and fish. To name but a few.
Also beware of commercial treats which contain preservatives, colouring and chemicals.
Healthy, homemade treats are the better option. Try and include oatmeal, canola oil, oat flour and chicken broth.
Peanut butter and (cooked) eggs are good for your dog’s coat and parsley is good for eliminating “doggy breath”.
Make sure you do your research on which fruits are good. A banana in the morning is a good way to start the day.
Remember Trick or Treat is a daily occurrence for your dog ; not just a fun night for you kids in October.

You and Your Dog Pt 2

I’m sure you’ve all been told at one time or another, “Take that hang dog look off your face”.  Usually said when you’ve been found with your hand in the cookie jar.
Well your dog quite often will have that look. Especially when he’s been scolded.  And research shows us that more often than not he will exhibit that look when NOT guilty.  Strangely, the more innocent he is, the guiltier he looks.
Even though your dog may love to snooze by the fire or on your lap.  The average dog needs one to two hours of exercise a day.  If given the correct diet your dog will have endless energy.
If deprived of that exercise, he may release it in other more destructive ways.  It is not difficult to figure out how much and what kind of exercise your dog needs.  So get off the couch, grab a ball and take Rover to the nearest Dog Park.  The exercise will do you both good.
Just like us, teeth care for your dog is so important and if not done properly can lead to diseases other than tooth decay.  A regular inspection plus proper care is vital.  If your dog is well trained, you can do this yourself, with regular brushing, tartar removal and yes, to avoid the dreaded doggie breath a mouth rinse.  There is also a variety of treats that help in tooth maintenance. Of course, don’t forget to have your Vet. check your dog when you take him in for a check up; professional cleaning may be warranted from time to time.  All this will result in a healthy happy dog.