Don't Let your Kids be Fido and Fluffy's Lunch
Be Ready for Mosquitoes and Fleas
Top 10 Ways
to Keep Children and Pets Safe Together
Be ready for Mosquitoes and Fleas
Spring is getting off to a slow start, so who would think about fleas, heartworm or
ticks now? These short spurts of warm
weather actually get these little bugs ready to hatch out with a vengeance. Be prepared and prevent health problems by
choosing the right product for your dog or cat according to your pet's
Heartworm disease is spread by the bite of a mosquito. Mosquitoes can start hatching out and biting
when the average day time temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. What this means is that on these March days
when the temperature rises to 45 or 50 degrees, the mosquitoes will swarm and
bite. They go dormant for the night when
the temperatures fall but will not die off unless there are a few days well
below 32 degrees. Monthly heartworm
preventatives are a safe and effective way to prevent this deadly disease. Monitoring your dog for heartworm is important
to be sure they are getting the proper dose of prevention every month. There is also a resistant strain of
heartworm that is reaching Illinois so
we want to be sure the product your pet is on is working. There are now many different heartworm preventatives
that also protect from intestinal worms and even fleas. These medications have different price
points, so talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your pet and your
Cats also get heartworm disease. The testing for heartworm is not as reliable
as in the dog, and prevention for them is also important. Revolution is a topical product that is recommended
by the American Association of Feline Practitioners for all cats to prevent
heartworm disease. In addition to
preventing heartworm, Revolution also kills fleas, ticks and intestinal worms. Revolution is safe and easy to use on cats.
Ticks begin to emerge in early spring here in central
Illinois. Ticks carry some pretty nasty
diseases such as Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis and of course Lyme's disease. Many of the flea and tick products sold over
the counter can be toxic to small dogs and especially cats due to the high
concentration of the older pesticides that are needed to kill these pests. Your veterinarian can prescribe much safer
and more effective topical and even oral medications to kill and prevent fleas
and ticks. Using repellents such as Avon
Skin So Soft is helpful to keep ticks
off when you go on hikes or even after time in your yard.
If you have to remove a tick, use alcohol and tweezers. Some of the extension offices can test the
tick to see if any of the diseases are carried by them.
Fleas - yep, they are still around. Many people have fleas living in the home
over the winter because they carried them in over the fall. For a lot of pet owners a year round flea
program is best. A flea comb is a good
investment to check your pet over regularly. You can find these at a pet store.
Remember 1 flea can lay up to 100 eggs a day which a month later hatch
out. The house treatment sprays must
contain a growth inhibitor (precor) to be effective. Most of the over the counter house treatment
sprays do not carry this, but the Siphotrol is one available at most
veterinarians that does contain the growth inhibitor. Treat all surfaces your pet comes into
contact with, and repeat 2 weeks later.
Stay ahead of the bugs and have your dog tested and back on
heartworm prevention if you stopped at all. Be sure you have your flea and tick products handy as well. Lastly, check with your veterinarian on the
products you use or ask what is best for your pet. This will prevent accidentally toxic problems
in your pet.
Top 10 Ways
to Keep Children and Pets Safe Together
pets can grow up together and have a great relationship. Teaching kids to learn how to properly greet
a dog or cat and when to step in as a parent and avoid risks is essential for a
good experience. Too often adults trust
the dog or cat will just tolerate excessive petting, reaching in the bed of a
pet, or getting close to a dog with food, toy or water. Then tragedy results. Here are some simple rules to follow to keep
everyone safe and happy.
- Never leave your child under the age of 5 alone with a dog even for a minute. The child goes with you, the dog goes with
you, or the dog goes out of the area of the child.
- No food of any kind around dogs
and kids. Keep the dog at least 8 feet away from the
children when there is any kid of food around anywhere.
- Do not let your children grab the dog’s toys away from them.
- Do not lay your infant on the floor, or bed with the dog nearby – may trigger predation.
- Reward your dog for non-fearful,
aggressive, or anxious reactions when your children are loud or active.
- Do not allow your children to bother a sleeping dog at all.
- Have many shelves, perches and places
for your cat to be out of reach of loud active children but in the same room.
- Play with your cat 10 minutes a day with a feather toy on a stick –
small children can do this supervised.
- Do not rush up to a cat, pat it hard
or bother it when sleeping.
the dog eat alone – no people or
So keep your baby gates to separate pets and kids when the pet is getting
tired, or stressed. Teach your children
considerate manners around all pets. Also learn the body language of stress in both dogs and cats so you can
intervene early. If your dog or cat is
regularly hissing, growling, or snapping at your youngsters - do not wait to
get help. I offer safe pet - safe child
consults through my office and I can work with your veterinarian as well.