Is Your Dog Flea Control Up To Scratch?

All You Need To Know About Fleas

You need to do everything that you can to protect your dog from fleas. Your furry friend can get flea allergy dermatitis which affects the skin and can cause excessive itching, scratching and hair loss. This is a very common problem.

If your pooch has fleas they can also suffer from anemia. This can result in pale skin, a shortness of breath, a lack of energy and chills. There are over 300 types of fleas found in the United States and around 2,000 across the world. Fleas are particularly active in the warm summer months.

So What are Fleas?

Fleas are parasitic insects known as “ectoparasites”. They have been around for over 100 million years and are very hardy. This is due to their exoskeleton that is shock resistant and able to withstand high pressures. It takes a lot to kill a flea.

You probably already know that fleas are very good jumpers. They can jump as high as seven inches and as far as thirteen inches. This is the equivalent of a human being able to jump 1,000 feet in the air.

Fleas do not have wings and have three sets of legs. An adult flea is around 1/8 of an inch long (about 3 millimeters). They bite with their mouths and are usually a reddish brown color. It’s not as easy as you would think to see fleas on your pet because of the speed they move at – to be honest, sometimes it’s a bit like finding a needle in a haystack!

What problems can Fleas cause?

If your pooch has a flea infestation then they can be susceptible to some severe health problems. Here are some of the problems that fleas can cause:

1. Flea Allergy Dermatitis is a serious skin problem, can cause excessive itching, scratching and hair loss. This is a very common problem.

2. Anemia – this can result in pale skin, a shortness of breath, a lack of energy and chills.

3. If your dog ingests fleas they can get Tapeworms. A tapeworm is a parasite of the intestines and if this is not treated your furry friend can suffer from malnutrition.

4. Fleas will be a constant source of annoyance for your dog making them want to scratch excessively, which lead to Body Sores.

5. Your furry friend could also contract the Bubonic Plague from fleas as they can transmit Yersina pestis.

How do you know if your Dog has Fleas?

There are a number of signs that you can look for which indicate that your furry friend has fleas. These include:

Scratching a lot more than normal. Watch out for your dog scratching behind their ears, belly or biting their legs, feet or their backsides

Check their skin by parting their fur, to see if there are any pepper like specks. These tend to be black in color. These specks could be flea dirt which is either digested blood or flea excrement. To be sure that the specs are flea dirt you can use a wet cotton tip and to touch the specs. If the tip turns a red color then it’s flea dirt.

 There may not be any obvious signs that your pooch has fleas. Not all dogs are going to bite and scratch if they have fleas. So you will need to inspect the skin of your furry friend near their tail, rump and belly. Try using a flea comb as the really fine teeth will help to expose fleas. You can find flea dirt using a flea comb as well.

How to Treat Dog Fleas

If you find that your pooch has fleas then don’t worry, you will find a number of safe and effective flea treatments readily available. If you need help then ask your vet to recommend a treatment.

CARE: Be sure to follow the instructions on the flea treatment product precisely. A lot of flea treatments contain toxic elements and if you use too much you can harm your furry friend and could potentially even kill them.

How to Prevent your Pooch Getting Fleas

Just like night follows day, no matter how clean your home is, EVERY dog will come into contact with fleas at some point in their lives, but there are a number of things that you can do to help prevent your furry friend from getting any serious infestations or flea related health issues:

 Protect your home from other animals such as rodents as these can carry fleas.

 Check your dog’s coat and skin after any trip outside or if they’ve had any interaction with other dogs.

 Bathe your dog regularly using specialized shampoo.

 Wash soft toys, collars and your pooch’s bedding materials regularly.

If fleas get into your home they can reproduce rapidly and create an infestation in no time. Contact an experienced pest control professional to take care of the fleas as it is unlikely that you will be able to do this effectively yourself.

If you’re anything like me, reading about fleas automatically makes you itch, but there’s no better prompt to go and check your pooch NOW!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

 

 

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IS YOUR POOCH PARTIAL TO GRAZING ON GRASS?

WHY IS THAT?

It might be a bit worrying if you’re a first-time dog owner and your new canine companion starts eating grass, especially when they vomit afterwards – BUT rest assured this is a very common behavior.

There are many theories as to why they do it:

1. Boredom – normally seen in puppies or young dogs (but let’s face it they have a habit of chewing everything!)

2. Some sort of deficiency in diet – grass is not eaten for any specific nutritional value (and it doesn’t explain why dogs on well balanced diets eat it too). However, it’s thought that it potentially may provide some additional form of roughage lacking in their normal diet.

3. Remedy for upset stomach – Dogs are not able to digest grass, so many do vomit after eating eat. However, there are plenty of occasions where my canine grass munchers show no other signs of gastric problems before or after eating it. I think they just like the taste – and it seems especially inviting when it has refreshing morning dew on it!

4. Many dogs just love eating and would like to eat more than they are actually fed (even though their body doesn’t need it!) – my old golden was proof positive of that! But apparently, it’s not necessarily the sign of a glutton, just that they like the actual process of eating, so tucking into a lush patch of grass is like having a snack in between their normal meals.

5. Interestingly, studies of wild dogs have also shown them eating grass, so, as far as most experts are concerned, it is inherently natural behavior for domestic dogs.

As wild dogs depend on good hunting skills to survive and feed their families, it’s believed that grass eating may actually help conceal their scent, in the same way rolling in their prey’s excrement or foul offal is thought to.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

1. At the end of the day, dogs are omnivores and have the capability to obtain the nutrients they need from both plant and animal origin.

Grass does not seem to harm dogs BUT you need to be careful if they are eating grass in an area that is sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, which can be toxic to your furry friend. If you think they may have ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA immediately.

 

2. If your pal is constantly eating grass and being sick, then you need to remember that the act of being sick also brings up bile acid from the stomach. This acid can ultimately cause internal ulcers, which are invisible to us. So, if your dog has been doing this for a long time, it may be worth getting your veterinarian to check for existing or developing ulcers.

 

3. If there is excessive vomiting, vomiting not associated with grass eating, or other accompanying symptoms of illness, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of energy – get your best friend checked over by your veterinarian.

 

4. Research shows that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.

a. Veterinarians agree, many dog health issues are caused by processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health. That’s where your furry best friend may benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) to ensure their body is absorbing the nutrients from their food and restore good digestive health and immune system.

b. Also, if you are preparing homemade food, it may be useful to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for the size and breed of your canine companion.

 

5. While grass is not harmful, it may be among other plants that are toxic to dogs, which they then eat it by accident. Check out the ASPCA list at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

 

IMPORTANT

So, in conclusion, if your dog is chewing grass, this is normal doggie behavior. Please just be aware of the potential concerns above and if you think your pal may have ingested poison in the form of a plant or liquid in the process call Animal Poison Control on (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Make Sure Your Dog’s Bark is worse than their Bite!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

 

Every year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the country; one in five require medical attention and sadly more than half the victims of dog bites are children. The most alarming fact is that bites are often from dogs they are familiar with, or have even known and loved for years as part of the family. This just emphasizes the need to increase awareness and ensure we educate our children, friends and family to make them smart and safe around our canine companions.

Some bites are simply tragic accidents but the majority are normally a consequence of a particular situation, circumstance or environment and therefore can be avoided if we learn to understand our dogs better.

As responsible dog owners, we need to ensure our dogs are well socialized with both people (and other dogs) through positive, force-free education.

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend and not many dog lovers can resist petting a pooch BUT there are certain times where this is NOT a good idea:

  • If they are chewing a bone or eating
  • When they are playing with a toy – do not try to try to take it away from them
  • When they are sleeping.
  • If they are ill, injured or in pain
  • Do not try to touch the puppies of a dog, if she is resting with them or is anxious about your presence.
  • Avoid petting the dog when he is barking or growling
  • If the dog is not with his owner or chained / tethered
  • Even if the dog is with the owner, ALWAYS ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog
  • Sudden loud noises may surprise or frighten them and may trigger an automatic defensive aggression
  • Don’t reach through a fence or gate, over a wall or into a vehicle to pet a dog – they often see this as territory that it is their job to protect for their human family
  • Don’t pet ‘Service Dogs’ – they are special working animals and shouldn’t be distracted from their important jobs
  • Like us humans, dogs often need some ‘alone’ time, so if they seem to be trying to hide or seeking a quiet place, give them some space
  • If a dog is barking excessively, growling, baring their teeth, fixated gaze with whites of eyes showing, then these are all signs that the dog is not comfortable and common ‘warning’ signs preceding a bite, so it’s important to look, listen and understand what a dog is telling you

 

I know these precautions may all sound like simple common sense and they are, but I guess it’s often easy for us to be tempted by a four-legged fur ball or soulful face and not be aware that we may be unwittingly putting ourselves, others and the dog in danger.

Last, but not least, please remember that dog bites are NOT breed specific, they are behavior specific, so it’s vital to be observant to keep everyone safe and happy.

 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

FINDING YOUR PERFECT MATCH…OF THE CANINE VARIETY!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive 

May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day and there’s lots to celebrate about dogs, whatever their shape or size!

Often people want a pedigree because they have an affinity with a particular breed through family tradition or they have a specific requirement, such as a ‘no-shedding’ coat because of a human allergy or a specific purpose such as search and rescue. The main difference with a pure breed and a mixed breed is that their lineage is all the same breed. With that comes the knowledge of specific traits in both looks, personality, energy levels, behavior and trainability.

There are undoubtedly some beautiful pure breeds and their attraction is understandable BUT please remember to check with shelters first, such as Petfinder, who have a national register of pure breeds for adoption. https://www.petfinder.com/ 

CURLY

This handsome boy is a Treeing Walker Coonhound, who arrived at the Pet Adoption Fund in Canoga Park CA with his brother Blue.

They lost their home due to a military family move. They love people and would love a hound-loving home to call their forever home.

They are super friendly, (they even tested well with cats) active and playful but would need a secure fenced yard. Ideally these brothers would love to be re-homed together but, if separated, they would prefer another dog to pal with or someone who is home most of the day.

When I was only 8 years old, my parents rescued an Irish Setter from a breeder who was retiring. Although his intentions were good, his standards were obviously slipping and ‘Rory’ (or “Conqueror of Glen Rory” to give him his proper pedigree name) was looking a bit defeated and underweight, with a lacklustre red coat. His brown eyes melted our hearts.

It was totally unexpected, as we were on vacation when we met him. In fact, we were actually on the way home; the car was packed with Mom and Dad, three kids, our poodle and all our camping gear, talking about our lovely encounter with Rory and none of us could bear the thought of leaving him behind – so my wonderful Dad turned the car around and we went to collect him. We didn’t even notice the cramped journey home, because we were all so besotted with our new family addition (including ‘Pogo’ our Poodle!).

That wonderful dog was both my friend and protector, so Irish Setters will always have a special place in my heart – I would therefore like to share with you a couple of examples of these handsome hounds that are looking for their forever home…

 

BAILEY

This handsome 6-year-old Irish Setter is a former AKC show dog, but unfortunately his owner passed away and so he found himself at the ‘Luv Me again’ shelter in Bloomington MN looking for a new home.

How could you resist?

There are, of course, some more challenging cases that find their way to shelters, through no fault of their own. All they normally need is a bit of love, patience and understanding.

 

 

AIDAN

This adorable Irish Setter is a 1-year old pup looking for his forever home. He’s house-trained, neutered and up to date on vaccinations, but needs an adult human prepared to give him the time and training required to undo the bad habits instilled by his previous owner.

I’m sure the rewards would be well worth the effort though!

If you have no luck in your shelter search, then the alternative is to find a RESPONSIBLE breeder – you need to see exactly where your puppy came from and how they were raised.

One way to find the pure breed dog of your dreams is via the American Kennel Club, an organization that has been an advocate for purebred dogs and breeding since its founding in 1884. They have a registry of breeders who adhere to the AKC’s Care and Conditions Policy and undergo regular inspections by the AKC, which ensure both the dogs and the kennels are in tip-top condition. Check this link for available pure bred puppies from AKC Marketplace.

Whichever route you take, I am sure you will find your perfect match and an unconditional love for life!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

You can find out more about FidoActive and their all-natural products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

 

 

DON’T LET YOUR FURRY BEST FRIEND BECOME A “LOST DOG” STATISTIC

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

 

Proper identification for your pet literally could be the difference between life and death.

The American Humane Society reported that approximately 10 million companion animals become separated from their owner each year, of which 6 – 8 million end up in the shelter system. Only 15 percent of the dogs without some form of ID are ever reunited with their owners.

This is a heart-breaking statistic for both the dog and their human family, as the odds of finding your dog at a shelter in the small window of opportunity are very slim.  While most states have laws requiring a minimum holding period for dogs, they have very limited space, so it may only be a few days or weeks, after which they may be euthanized, if they are not one of the lucky few to be saved by a local rescue center for re-homing.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! Not everything is in our control and accidents happen, whether that be a house or forest fire, someone leaving the gate open, fireworks exploding or a traffic accident. So, should any of these unfortunate episodes happen to you, and your dog runs off, their safe return really does depend on some form of identification.

Although ID tags have long been a tried and tested method for returning missing pets, recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of MICROCHIPPING – which is NOT painful for your pooch or your pocket! Most veterinarians have a standard low cost fee – it literally takes seconds to insert the tiny chip – and it can be even more cost effective to get it done at the same time as their normal health check/ vaccinations visit or when being neutered. The fee normally includes the registration in the pet recovery system too.

Having said that, some people may be reluctant to approach a dog without a collar, or haven’t the means to transport the dog to a local veterinarian or shelter, so we’d recommend you take the “belt & braces” approach and make sure your pooch has both a collar and a chip. Most people would be happy to make a quick phone call to try and track down the dog’s owner.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – once you’ve gone to the trouble of tagging and microchipping it is essential that you keep the contact information up to date. Also, if you’re out of town for business or on vacation, ensure you put some temporary location and/or alternative contact details, to ensure you can be reached – even if it’s just for a few days! The short time it takes to ensure your beloved pet’s safety is well worth the effort and could save you a lot of heartache.

So, don’t delay – check your furry friend’s ID today!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health always.