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Summer Pest Protection
For Your Pets
While the season's warmer weather offers great opportunity for games of fetch with Fido, it also brings increased risk from exposure to pests, particularly ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and stinging insects. Safeguarding dogs and cats begins with discussions with your veterinarian, but in addition to prescribed healthcare repellents and preventatives, there are several things that can be done to make your yard inhospitable to the stinging, biting troublemakers.
"Ticks are certainly one of the most concerning warm weather pests," noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Ticks are endemic with various species posing different health threats, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesia and Lyme disease. Tick-borne illnesses generally present with lethargy, weakness, anemia and even organ failure. Henriksen suggests pet owners minimize the risk of ticks in yards by regularly trimming grass and other vegetation. As nuisance wildlife and rodents are common tick carriers, seal trash cans, remove brush piles and keep firewood two feet off of the ground to keep them away.
Mosquitoes also pose health risks to dogs and cats as their bites can transmit heartworm, a parasitic roundworm that can infect a host and result in a potentially serious disease. To help keep these pests at bay, Henriksen advises homeowners to repair any torn screens and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water in the yard.
"Empty wading pools, toys, grill covers flower pots, clogged gutters and other places that tend to gather water. Bird baths should be changed every week to keep water fresh," Henriksen says. "Mosquitoes only need half an inch of stagnant water to develop from eggs to pupae to adult mosquitoes that can then live out of water, so a thorough check of the yard is essential."
Though fleas are tiny pests, they cause big problems. Not only can they infest an entire home quickly, flea saliva can cause anemia and dermatitis and transfer tapeworms to dogs and cats. Avoid walking dogs in tall grass where there is a greater chance of flea exposure, wash dogs after walks and puppy play dates, and launder bedding, collars and stuffed toys.
Stinging insects are another potential problem for pets, especially if stung near the mouth or throat as this may cause swelling that can restrict breathing. Inspect the yard for evidence of hives or stinging insect colonies. If you see evidence of an infestation, contact a pest professional who can safely remove nests and control swarms. For more information on summer pests and your pets, visit www.pestworld.org.
|Old Tricks For A New Dog|
Congratulations on bringing home a new member of the family! There are many tricks you can teach a dog to perform, but here we will cover just three. These should be taught following basic obedience training (which includes sit/stay and down commands). Each session should last about 30 seconds; let her play for a while afterward.
Shake Hands: Popular and easy to learn, this is a nice skill for puppies to have, especially when visitors arrive. Begin teaching Shake Hands after she has developed a good response to the Sit/Stay commands. Once she is sitting, pick up one of her paws gently, release it and give her a treat. Do this for a couple of days, and then add a verbal command, like “Shake hands” or “Say hello.” Give her a reward after you say the command.
Play Dead: Another easy trick, once she follows the “Down” command, you can progress to “roll over” Give her the “down” command, and note which side she leans toward. Gently push her over onto that side, and give her verbal praise and a belly rub. Follow up with a reward.
Roll Over: Once she masters “Play Dead,” start from that position. First, desensitize your puppy by rubbing her belly and touching her legs and feet while she’s in the Play Dead position. Once she’s used to this, give the command “roll over,” take hold of the back and front legs closest to the floor, and very gently pull her over to the opposite side. (If she gets frightened or is in pain, stop immediately.) Reward her with a treat or toy. (Or, tempt her around with a treat: Show her the treat, then slowly move it up around the back of her head to the other side. She may follow it around, rolling over automatically.)
No matter what trick you teach your dog, she’ll love the attention, so make this training a regular part of your day.
Are You Flying With A Pet
This Holiday Season???
Keep Your Pet SAFE!!!
•NEVER SEDATE an animal that is flying!!
•INSPECT your carrier or crate before you go to the airport - check the security of all zippers, seams, locks, screws and connections.
•DO NOT REMOVE AN UNLEASHED PET IN AN OPEN AREA!! If security wants you to take your pet out of its carrier to be screened, ask to be placed with your pet in a secure room.
•If your pet is flying as checked baggage or cargo, USE ZIP TIES to latch the door shut. Make sure the top and bottom of the carrier are held together with meta! screws, and reinforce with additional zip ties.
•POST YOUR PET’S PICTURE & FLIGHT NUMBER(S) and YOUR NAME & CELL PHONE NUMBER boldly on all sides of the crate, with instructions to contact you immediately for the handling of your pet. Keep your cell phone on until the very last minute.
•TELL THE PILOT of your aircraft that you have a pet flying as checked baggage or cargo - the pilot controls the heat & cooling in the hold!
•DON’T BE SHY!!!! Ask questions. Make people aware that you are flying with a pet. Be assertive but polite. TAKE WHATEVER STEPS ARE NECESSARY TO INSURE YOUR PET IS HANDLED RESPECTFULLY & SAFELY.
Before Getting A New Pet
Before adopting a pet it is important that a person stop and consider several important points:
MOTIVATION - is getting a pet on a whim or a well planned event
FINANCIAL INVESTMENT - both the short term and the long term, as we all know a “free” dog is not really free!
REQUIRED CHANGES - removing valuable objects, tolerating occasional accidents, placing screen on windows to prevent escape, to name a few
ADULT SIZE - small, medium or large
BREED CHARACTERISTICS & PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES - for example, activity level, hair length, shedding or non-shedding
GENDER - and the NEED to spay or neuter
TIME & ENERGY - for daily maintenance, such as exercise, grooming and play
MUNICIPAL & STATE REGULATIONS - regarding pets in your area
YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE - basic obedience, training, house training
A SECONDARY CARETAKER - for vacations or illness or family obligations