Dogs are the perfect place for worms and parasites to live, and their habit of licking, sniffing and eating almost anything they find, means that there’s a high chance they’re going to come into contact them. Once they’re onboard there’s a bunch of things dogs also do that help them to be spread, such as, licking, grooming, and kissing… yes kissing, and we’re at risk as well as other dogs.
Dogs are therefore likely to encounter worms at some point, and there a variety of types of worms, each creating different dangers. Most, such as hookworms, tapeworms, whipworm, and roundworm live in dogs’ intestines. Heartworm, as the name suggests, live in dogs’ hearts and lungs. So, what’s the difference between them and how can they be prevented?
This week we’re covering a subject that is actually more about us than animals… dog bites and dog attacks, and how to avoid them. Being bitten can be traumatic, and anyone who’s been chased or lunged at by an aggressive dog will tell you how terrifying it can be. To know how to best handle these situations, trying to understand the dog’s perspective can help, however that can be difficult when you’re scared and feeling threatened. The ultimate objective when dealing with an aggressive dog is of course not to get bitten, and following are some tips on how to achieve this.
What influences dog attacks?
Firstly, let’s look at the circumstances surrounding dog attacks. There is ongoing debate about the extent to which dog breed influences the likelihood of attack on humans, but it is a complex issue. There is no definitive study of dog bites by breed, because the number of attacks by a breed increases in proportion to the popularity of that breed. In reducing the incidence of attacks there are many preventable factors much more significant than breed.
We often only notice our dogs’ nails when they’re getting a bit too long, and it can be easy to forget them until we can hear them clicking on a hard floor while they’re walking. Even the most loving and dedicated dog owners can be unsure of the correct way to trim nails, and the job can sometimes be a little challenging, especially if your dog doesn’t like nail clipping time. In this article we aim to demystify the art of nail-clipping, and help you with some simple tips.
No acrylics here…
Dogs’ nails, like horses’, come in different colours and it’s usually determined by the colour of the surrounding skin and hair, therefore dark fur is usually accompanied by dark nails and white fur with white nails. Some dogs have bi-coloured nails, and nail colour can sometimes change as well. Changing colour is usually due to a harmless change in the pigment, but it can sometimes be a sign of a health problem, therefore if your dog’s nails change colour, you should bring it to the attention of your vet.
In our grandparents’ day chickens were commonly kept in residential backyards, but the growth of the poultry industry and the mass production of eggs, led to a decline in its popularity. These days however, as people are looking for healthier alternatives to supermarket-supplied, processed, and mass-produced foods, there is an increasing interest in keeping chooks. Even for those of us in the city, could they in fact be an egg-cellent pet?
We are all aware that exercise is good for us, but did you know that it is also very important for the health of our dogs? Sadly, research has shown that as many as 40% of dog owners do not regularly exercise their dogs, and walk small or old dogs even less. Regardless of their size or age, all dogs should be walked and they love it! At the very least, it is usually necessary to take them for a quick walk for toilet time, so why not make the most out of it?
It’s amazing how persistent your dog can be as a training partner…they don’t care about the weather, or your hassles at work, so there will be no slacking off! Dogs are great at motivating many of us to exercise when we might otherwise choose to skip the workout and sit in front of the TV.
It’s great for both of you!
“My dog ate Nurofen, what should I do?” is a question that you’ll hopefully never need to ask, but being aware of the risks of your pet accessing medicines, and what can be done to prevent it, is important for all pet owners. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient of Nurofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be extremely dangerous for dogs, but Nurofen is just one of thousands of medicines that is dangerous to our pets.
How would a pet come into contact with medicine?
By world standards, Australians are big takers of prescription and non-prescription medication, and with many people taking them daily, the chances that one could be dropped on the floor or left in a place that’s accessible to pets, is quite high. Add to that the naturally inquisitive nature of animals, and the risk increases.
You’ll often hear pet owners say, “I’m a dog person” or “I’m a cat person”, but the reality is that both make great pets, and while the virtues of owning a dog are widely acknowledged, cats sometimes get a bum rap.
Cats – the laugh-a-minute pets
Cats often don’t get the credit they deserve as being loyal and loving pets. They’re sometimes seen as being aloof and solitary, but cats are actually quite social creatures. They can enjoy being in the company of a human family, and love to joke around. In fact, images and videos of cats are some of the most viewed content on the web, particularly those showing cats “acting the goat”. Cat owners know, that if you want a video to go viral, film a cat!
People are sometimes surprised to discover that cats can learn tricks, and in some cases, are even better at them than dogs. They’re naturally athletic and agile, and while a dog will run and jump to catch a ball, a cat will too, but also throw in some skilful acrobatics...
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, and it’s estimated that approximately 70% of Australian households have at least one pet. We are therefore a nation that really appreciates our companion animals. Unfortunately, native animals don’t always get the same attention as domestic species – a permit to keep them is only required under certain circumstances - and in order to protect these important and highly valued species, there are some simple things we can do.
Having to check after your pet has been to the toilet, is one of the less pleasant aspects of pet ownership, but it can help you identify when something’s wrong. If you find diarrhoea where your dog or cat goes to the toilet, or worse still, somewhere in your home if they’ve been “caught short”, then it’s something that requires your attention.
Diarrhoea is a common ailment in pets and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can often be a sign of a variety underlying health issues. It’s therefore important to be aware of some of the main causes of diarrhoea in pets, what to do when it occurs, how to treat it, and ways to prevent it in the future.
In Australia, when we think of dog sleds we usually think of snow, however many of us are surprised to discover that sled dogs exist in many parts of the world including here, and are used for a variety of purposes. They have been around for generations, and it’s thought that in the world’s artic regions sled dogs were used tens of thousands of years ago, and that the Eskimos bred them with various breeds of dogs and wolves. Consequently, their offspring were conditioned to the snow and freezing temperatures. It is unknown when they started to be used to pull sleds, but it is thought to be several thousand years ago. Today, dog sleds are used for transportation and for racing.
Dog breeds used for sledding
Many breeds of dogs are used to pulls sleds, and traditionally they were Huskies, Samoyeds, and Malamutes. There is also a number of mixed breed dogs used, and many would have bloodlines that originate from wolves. Breeds are chosen for their strength, endurance, and speed. Leadership qualities are also important with sled dogs. In cold climates their big thick coats are important in helping to protect them from the cold, and wide flat feet help them to gain traction when traversing it. In the snow you’ll see them sleep curled up with their tails covering their noses to keep them warm, but in Australia’s hot climate they’re more likely to be spread out to help control their temperature.