I Found a Baby...What do I do?
5 Ways to Appreciate your Pet
I Found a Baby... What do I do?
5 Ways to Appreciate your Pet
June 1 - 7 is Pet Appreciation Week. We've got some ways to show your pet how much you love him or her.
- Take your pet for walks. Dogs need lots of exercise and walks are a great way to get exercise and keep their mind active. Cats can enjoy walks too. Read our article about taking your cat for a walk.
- Give you pet yummy healthy treats. Dogs enjoy eating carrots, green beans, apples and other fruits and vegetables. Don't give your dog grapes or raisins. These are toxic to dogs. Cats enjoy eating peas, steamed broccoli and bananas.
- Take pictures with your pet. We often don't think about taking pictures of our pets. Photos are a great way to remember fun times.
- Make a toy for your pet. Check out our page for ideas.
- Feed your pet from a food puzzle. Food puzzles are a toy that holds your pet's food. Your pet knocks the toy around to get the food. Food puzzles are a great way to get rid of some energy and keep your pet's mind active. Check out some food puzzles you can buy or make at home.
Ticks live in grass, leaves, brush and bushes. Ticks crawl onto your pet as he or she walks past. We often find ticks attached pet's head and neck since your pet is sticking his or her head and sniffing areas where ticks like to live. Ticks attach to your pet and drink blood. If the tick drinking your pet's blood is infected with a disease, it can pass this disease on to your pet. Ticks can give your pet diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Tick Paralysis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. The female tick will feed for days until she is fat and swollen. The female tick is the easiest tick to find on your pet. The male ticks do not feed as long and are therefore smaller and harder to see. Other immature stages are also small and are harder to see on your pet. The smallest stage that can attach to your pet is called a nymph and can be as small as the head of a pin. A good way to find ticks is to rub your pet's head, neck and legs a few times a day. Also look at both sides of your pet's ear flaps.
What do you do when you find a tick on your pet? Get a bottle of alcohol, a cotton ball and a pair of tweezers, and some of your pet's treats, and someone to help. Pour some alcohol onto the cotton ball. Have the friend hold your pet and give him or her some treats. Put the cotton ball onto the tick for at least 10 seconds, then remove the cotton ball. (This helps stun the tick and loosen it's grip). With the tweezers, gently grasp the tick as close to your pet's skin as you can and GENTLY pull. Do NOT twist or jerk. (Removing it slowly helps reduce the chance of the mouth parts being left behind in the skin). If the tick gets squished and starts to bleed, try not to get any of the blood on you or your pet. Wash your hands and any place the blood got on your pet.
How can you prevent ticks from giving your pet a disease? Use a flea and tick preventative such as Frontline Plus or Revolution. These products are applied to your pet once a month. These products do not repel ticks. No product spot on product (like Frontline, Revolution, Advantage, etc) will repel ticks. The products will kill the tick when it attaches to your pet. The tick dies before it can give your pet a disease.
What can you do to help keep ticks out of your yard? One way to help keep ticks out of your yard is to make it unfriendly to ticks. Ticks like dark and humid areas. So keep your lawn mowed and and remove bushes. Remove any sticks, leaves or other yard waste. Plant grass that requires less watering in the summer. Create a "tick free zone" around your yard. The zone should be covered in mulch and be at least 3 yards wide. Do not have any plants, except trees in this zone. This should reduce the tick population in your yard by at least 75%. Another way to keep ticks out of your yard is to keep other animals out of your yard. Ticks will feed on any warm blooded animal (squirrels, birds, deer, cats, dogs, etc). By keeping these animals out of your yard, you will keep ticks out of your yard.
* Image of a tick from www.capcvet.org
I Found a Baby... What do I do?
Spring brings baby rabbits, squirrels and birds into our yards. What happens if you find a baby away from its nest? We get several calls from people who have found abandoned babies or whose dog or cat brought a baby to them. We would like to share some information about baby wildlife and what you can do in this situation.
Is the nest abandoned? Mother rabbits, squirrels and birds visit their nests throughout the day. If you or your pet is constantly around the nest, the mother will stay away from the nest. So how do you know if the mother is coming back? The best way to know if mom will come back is to leave the nest alone and mark the nest. Cut some yarn or string and place it on the nest in a pattern, so when mom comes back she will disturb the strings. A common pattern of string is to cut 4 pieces and place them in a # pattern over the nest. Leave the nest alone for 24 hours, then check the strings.
Does she smell you or your pet on the babies? It's always best to put on a pair of gloves. Not to prevent your smell from getting onto the babies, but to protect you from diseases that wildlife can carry. Mother rabbits, squirrels and birds don't smell or don't care that people or pets have touched their babies. They will take care of their babies even if you or your pet has touched them.
How can I keep my dog away from the rabbit nest? Put a fence around the nest. Make sure there is space in the fencing to allow the mother to get through.
What do I do if the rabbit nest was destroyed by my dog or a lawn mower? Put a pair of gloves on before handling the babies. Check the babies for injuries. If they are not injured, put them back in their nest and put the nesting material back on top of them. If some of the babies are injured, call the U of I wildlife clinic at 217-244-1195.
What do I do if the squirrel or bird nest is on the ground? Put a pair of gloves on before handling the babies. Check the babies for injuries. For squirrels, if they are not injured, put them back in their nest. Squirrels make 2 nests, so the mother will move the babies from the damaged nest to the other nest. Make sure the nest has a fence around it or is protected from dogs and cats. For birds, if they are not injured, put the babies in the nest and put the nest into the tree it fell from. If you find only a baby bird that has feathers, it is likely learning how to fly. Leave it alone. If the baby squirrels or birds are injured, call the U of I wildlife clinic at 217-244-1195.
Read more about Rabbits, Squirrels and Birds on the U of I wildlife clinic's website.