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Dehydration can be dangerous for your dog!

June 13th, 2016

By Karen A. Soukiasian

Approximately sixty percent of your dog’s body is water! That’s more or less six pounds of liquid for every 10 pounds of dog! Even though dogs don’t “sweat” as we do, dehydration can be a serious problem. It is your responsibility to make sure your dog is drinking enough!

Dogs are most susceptible to dehydration in the summer. Sometimes they just so busy they “forget” to drink! From time to time they may get too over heated and do not want water. CAUTION! They could be on their way to heat exhaustion!

Diarrhea, liver and kidney diseases are also reasons for dehydration.

Make it a habit especially in the summer, to have SEVERAL water bowls or buckets, filled with clean, cool water, located where your dog will most likely need them and use them. Encourage “time out” when playing or exercising, for a drink. In the summer, get into the habit of carrying water with you, when walking or hiking…a bottle for you, and a bottle for your pal.

Signs to watch for of dehydration:
1. Fever in severe cases
2. Lethargic
3. Disoriented
4. Lack of appetite
5. Diarrhea
6. Vomiting
7. Lifting the skin on your dog’s head. If your dog is hydrated enough, the skin will have elasticity and immediately spring back. If it doesn’t, your dog could be dehydrated.

How Will I Know If My Dog Is Dehydrated?
1. Lift your dog’s upper lip. The gums over the teeth should be pink. Press the flat part of your index finger on that part of their gum. The pressure will turn the spot white. If it turns pink in 2 seconds, he or she is not in serious danger.
2. If it takes 3 to 4 seconds, your dog needs to be seen by your vet immediately. The veterinarian will most likely recommend to rehydrate your pet with IV fluids.

For moderate rehydration, as long as your dog is not vomiting, you can try:
1. Encourage him to drink water – you may need a needless syringe or turkey baster
2. Slip ice chips into his or her mouth
3. Flavor their water with no-fat, no-salt chicken or beef broth
4. Soak a clean towel in water, and squeeze the liquid into their mouth
5. A 50/50 mix of Gatorade, Powerade or Pedialyte to their water
6. Freeze a combination of 50/50 water and Gatorade, Powerade or Perdialyte, in an ice cube tray -place a treat so it sticks out a bit. Let your dog lick or chew the ice cube to get the treat.
7. If your dog is not diabetic, try a Popsicle
8. Add water to their food, especially in the summer.
9. Get them out of the sun!
10. Cool them off by gently spraying them with water and/or bring them inside for the air conditioning. Simply cooling them off may stimulate them to drink.

Do not let your dog over drink. One to two ounces every 2 hours is a good start. If you don’t see any improvement in 6-8 hours, it’s time to visit the vet!

For severe dehydration, don’t waste time. Get them to your veterinarian immediately!

Bottom Line: Management is key for keeping your dog properly hydrated. Make sure there are plenty of water bowls, they are accessible, and full of clean, cool water. Take the time, to watch to make sure they are drinking enough. Don’t rush them!

NOTE: There are dog owners who feel because the dog is poolside, they will drink out of the pool. Therefore, they don’t need a water bowl out there. This way of thinking doesn’t always work…and it could be tragic.
1. Some dogs will not drink pool water because of the chlorine content.
2. If you have a salt-water pool, it could be hazardous to their health!
3. Dogs have fallen into the pool and drowned, simply because they were thirsty!

Could your pet benefit from Vitamins and Supplements?

December 14th, 2015

Since animals can experience many of the same diseases and ailments that people experience, especially as they age, should you consider giving vitamins and supplements to your pet?

A healthy diet, including a good and nutritious pet food, will generally supply the vitamins necessary for a dog or cat as they grow. Though just like people, pets might require additional vitamins or supplements as they age or during pregnancy or periods of illness.

Vitamins and supplements for pets can help to maintain good health throughout each stage of life. Pets that are fed an entirely homemade diet can lack essential nutrients, which are more readily available in commercial pet foods. These animals should be given a multivitamin on a daily basis. Talk to your veterinarian about finding the right multivitamin. Many on the market today are made to supplement store-bought pet food, so your pet on a homemade diet will need different amounts of the essential vitamins.

Some veterinarians recommend that working animals like herding dogs be given vitamin supplements because of the amounts of energy expended during their job. Most dog multivitamins will have added antioxidants which are thought to help divert any muscle damage during work. A working dog can be placed under extreme stress, and should be treated like a highly trained athlete. Supplements designed to support muscle function may be helpful.

Vitamin B and fatty acids help to build a healthy skin and coat. A dog with a dull coat or flaky skin could benefit from a fish oil supplement or any supplement with polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Vitamin A, which is found in many protein sources like liver and dairy products, is the chief protector of your pet’s vision. While most pets foods will contain enough, a lack of vitamin A can lead to vision problems including night blindness. Skin and hair are also damaged by an insufficiency of this vitamin. Supplementing a complete, high-quality dog food is not usually necessary unless your dog is getting most of their diet from table foods or treats. However, if you’re concerned about your pet’s vitamin A intake, talk to your vet about adding a supplement. Be sure to seek the advice of your vet since too much vitamin A can lead to coat and bone issues.

Aging pets are the group that will receive the largest benefits from vitamins and supplements. Just like humans, dogs and cats and other pets can become arthritic with age. Glucosamine supplements may decrease the discomfort caused by arthritis in both people and animals. Many veterinarians recommend a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin to preserve and lubricate aging joints. Along with these targeted supplements, a multivitamin and mineral supplement can help to preserve health and increase comfort in an aging pet.

Choosing a vitamin and supplement routine for your pet might sound complicated. Talking to your veterinarian will help you to decide on the correct supplements for your pet.

Contributed by Vanessa Davis, Owner Dirty Dogs Spa, 929 Heritage Lake Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587. For a completely holistic solution to help tackle some of the most challenging canine conditions, Dirty Dogs Spa carries HardyPet’s full line of canine vitamins and supplements.

 

 

Pets and “Boo’s” … Can they get along?

December 7th, 2015

Since opening the store I haven’t had a lot of time for my social life. It usually consists of a nice quite walk with Taylor (my furry true love). But recently I met someone and decided to accept the dinner “date” invitation. Butterflies fluttering in my stomach as we ventured out. I knew he was a dog lover as he has one of his own so I wasn’t concerned about him liking Taylor or how he would treat him. Didn’t even give it a thought. And, Taylor seemed to warm up to him, of course that was when we were outside.   Coming inside, in Taylors territory was a completely different story. I actually saw for the first time that Taylor was a bit jealous. First, Taylor took his favorite stuffed toy and completely ripped it to shreds and then showed it to my new “friend”. After making sure that it was clearly understood that he was a “tough dog”, Taylor crawled in my lap just like a lap dog and stayed there.

For many females introducing your new significant other to your furry love can be overwhelmingly stressful. . And if your pet hates this latest guy, well … the pet was with you before he was, so bye-bye to another promising romance. However, handling a situation like this is simple.

If your goal is more than just a date or two then start by making things easy on yourself by picking a pet lover, maybe even a pet owner. (Of course, if things really do work out, the next crucial step is introducing pets to each other. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) Patience is the first step. Getting a pet accustomed to a new person takes time, and you shouldn’t try to force a friendship.

Although you may interpret your pet’s actions as signs of jealousy, they are probably more related to disruption in their routine. So maintaining their daily routine as much as possible is very important. This means keeping to your schedule of feedings, play time, walks, etc. You and your new boo can share in these happy chores as well; your pet may see the guy as an extension of yourself.

The first meeting may go better on neutral territory so that your dog will not feel the need to exert his dominance by being on his home turf. Meet on a walking trail, at a dog park or anywhere that you feel that your pet will feel at ease. Don’t underestimate the power of bribery, either. Favorite treats are an excellent way to win the heart of your canine. And your dog will associate your guy with the good things in life.

Allow your dog to approach the friend on his own, so he can grow comfortable. Your guy should be calm and relaxed – dogs are expert at reading body language and any tenseness will tell your dog there’s something to fear.

Once the initial meeting has occurred and you feel comfortable, then let your boyfriend visit you at your home. Allow him to feed your dog his meal and the three of you should spend time together on walks or other forms of play time activities that do not involve rough play or games of chase. Keeping things simple will prevent any chances of the situation getting out of hand. If the two of them become comfortable with each other, he may strengthen bond by taking the dog for a walk without you going with them. Again, the goal is get your dog to associate the boyfriend with pleasurable activities.

One concern some dog owners have is whether their dog will show aggression toward the significant other if any form of affection is displayed. Some aggressive dogs may react to “protect the pack member” or even their own perceived place in it. If your dog is aggressive, it is very important to have him thoroughly trained and in control. Consulting an expert in the field of canine behavior and canine training is highly recommended in the event that any form of aggressive behavior is displayed directly toward the significant other.

Again, keeping to your pets routine is important. They shouldn’t associate your new boyfriend with being ignored or neglected.

If you have any questions regarding your pet please email us at pets@rolesvillebuzz.com.

Written by Vanessa Davis, Founder/Owner of Dirty Dogs Spa. 929 Heritage Lake Road, Wake Forest NC. Website: www.dirtydogsspa.com Phone 919-453-0765

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts for Your Pet and the Pet Lover in your Life.

November 23rd, 2015

You provide your dog with food and shelter. In return, you get unconditional love and loyalty. It’s a pretty sweet deal, actually. And while it can be tempting to pamper your pooch with fancy gourmet treats and luxury bedding, the truth is he’s probably more happy tearing apart an empty wrapping paper tube and lounging on the sofa next to you. In fact, the best thing you can give your favorite furball is your time and attention. Here are 5 great gifts for the canine and canine lover in your life.

A bag full of tennis balls. Visit any dog-friendly beach or park in the U.S. and you’ll see at least one ball-obsessed dog staring intently at their owner patiently awaiting the launch. And if you really want to have fun, get a Chuckit Launcher, you will get a super-long throw range, a slobber-free ball pick-up mechanism, plus you save your throwing shoulder. (Price range $7.00 to $25.00) Win. Win. Win. Also the the Varsity Ball ($40) is an insanely durable toy (it’s made of FDA-approved linear low-density polyethylene plastic) that’s designed to stimulate your larger dog’s natural herding instinct and play drive. As the Varsity Pets website notes, it’s too big for dogs to destroy or grab onto with their mouths. Instead, they push it around, kick it, and otherwise work themselves to exhaustion as they try to “figure it out.” If you have a pet lion or tiger, they seem to like Varsity Balls too.

Or, how about a therapeutic futon bed. Orvis has a FleeceLock Bolster Futon dog bed made of micro suede and fleece. Its super soft and washable. The wrap around bolster is perfect for resting your pets head. (Prices range from $100-$200)

Its hard to get excited about leashes and collars but how about a custom made collar and leash with your pets name and or phone number embroidered on it. Its made of durable webbing on one side and your choice of ribbons or fabric on the other. You can get multiple upgrades including Lily Pulitzer fabrics and reflective clasps. (Prices start at $25.00)

Just when you thought creative pet photography couldn’t get any better, portraits of dogs caught in the act of shaking off water and drool or just having fun with the family make great gifts. Give one photo or make is a book with a collection of your favorites. It’ll be a welcome addition to any dog lover’s coffee table.

There are really only a handful of truly useful gadgets for dog lovers. The Tagg Tracker ($100, plus $8/month) is one of them. This GPS collar clip and charger station lets you track not only how much exercise your dog is getting during a given day, but also monitor his precise movements. The subscription service may come with a hefty upfront cost, but you’ll get fast and accurate location updates and the piece of mind that comes from knowing exactly where your furry friend is.

Even though we may think the season is all about spending money and giving gifts, the most important gift if all is remembering the reason for the season. Take time to give Fido a little cuddle time. It will do wonders for helping to reduce the stress that can accumulate during this time of year.

Natural vs Chemical Flea Control

October 31st, 2015

Did you know?

  • Fleas are similar to cockroaches in that they adapt to their environment. They become stronger and more immune to the popular commercial flea control chemicals with each generation.

    • Most of the fleas are living in your pet’s environment, rather than in its fur. Every flea found on your pet may mean that there approximately 30 more living in your home.

    • A single flea can lay as many as 60 eggs per day. The lifespan of a flea is about 90 days, but the hibernating cocoon can survive up to year without feeding.

    Controlling fleas does require some effort, but there are safer and effective ways to control fleas than chemical-based commercial flea control products.

    Before reaching for pesticides, see if these safer, non-toxic methods help control flea problems:

Nematodes
While you can’t kill off the fleas that your pet is going to encounter when it goes outside, you can keep the population down in the area around your house by using nematodes. These microscopic worms eat flea larvae and are therefore a natural way to control the flea population.

Sanitize your pet’s environment
Fleas lay their eggs everywhere — in carpets, curtains, upholstery, animal bedding, cracks and crevices. Destroying the fleas’ eggs by thorough weekly vacuuming and frequent washing of animal bedding goes to the source of the problem and will help eliminate the flea population in your house. After vacuuming, be sure to replace the bag right away and take the old bag out of the house. Keeping clutter on the floor to a minimum also will deprive the fleas of hiding places.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Once your home is sanitized, defend against a recurrence of fleas and other insect pests by applying small amounts of diatomaceous earth throughout the home. Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized skeletal remains of unicellular plants called diatoms. But while ‘DE’ may look and feel like talcum powder to us, to insects it is a lethal dust with microscopic razor-sharp edges which cuts the flea`s protective outer covering, leading to dessication and death. And while DE spells death to insects, it is harmless to humans and pets

 

Scooping Etiquette

October 20th, 2015

We’ve all stepped in dog poop at one time or another, whether it’s on the street, in a park or even on our own lawns. As we scrape it off our shoes, we mutter a few choice words about people who are too lazy or irresponsible to pick up after their animals.

 

Dog waste that’s improperly disposed of is more than just a disgusting nuisance. It’s unhealthy for people and other dogs, and it’s also bad for the environment. Curbing your dog (aka picking up his poop) is an ordinance in most cities now, although a lot of people still don’t do it – and that makes all dog lovers look bad.

 

Reasons to scoop poop
• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant. And this doesn’t come from folks jumping on the “green” bandwagon; this classification was made nearly 20 years ago.

  • The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that pet waste can spread parasites – including salmonella, tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.
  • Un-scooped poop can be washed into storm drains and wind up in distant rivers and streams.
  • Dog poop is a team player and likes to get together with harmful bacteria like E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria. These can cause intestinal illness including cramps and diarrhea, and even kidney disorders.

 

Safe and clean pickup

  • Always pick up your dog’s waste, even if it’s in your own yard or in a wild area where people don’t often walk. Use a scoop, as it keeps your hands safely away from the waste. Pooper scoopers come in portable sizes that are perfect for walks, or opt for a scooper with a long handle for your yard.
  • Instead of using plastic bags, which don’t break down in landfill, you can purchase biodegradable poop bags such as BioBag in which to dispose of the waste. These are eco-friendly and easy to use. Biodegradable waste bags are made from renewable sources like corn, contain no chemical additives, and decompose naturally when exposed to the earth.
  • Another option is to hire a company that will come to your house and pick up the poop in your yard. Poop scooping companies are a safe alternative because they disinfect all their equipment, shoes and tools after each visit. That way your lawn will be clean and ready for outdoor activities.
  • Once picked up, the bagged waste can be placed in the garbage, or you can separate the waste from the bag, flush it down the toilet, then dispose of the biodegradable bag. Or, believe it or not, you can compost it.

 

Garbage in, garbage out
Dogs that eat poor quality diets full of synthetic additives, and/or that take a lot of medications, will produce waste containing chemical toxins, thereby adding to environmental pollution. One way to help the planet (and your dog!) is to feed him a natural whole-foods diet and keep his immune system healthy enough that he doesn’t need drugs.

 

For details on Composting dog poop check out our website at www.dirtydogsspa.com/compostingpoo

 

Article reprinted from Animal Wellness Magazine with permission.

 

Using Essential Oils with Pets

October 5th, 2015

Since 2003 I have relied on home remedies for both myself and especially my seven year old Golden Retriever, Taylor. Over the years I have become more sensitive to over the counter products. In addition, Taylor is allergic to a surprisingly number of items, everything from foods to flea and tick treatments.

Therefore, essential oils became my best friend. Most animals, including dogs, love the smell and they usually respond well when they like it. When essential oils are used safely can be used for everything from flea and tick repellants to lumps, bumps and more!

There are so many reasons that essential oils are good for dogs. They are simple and easy to use. They are extremely beneficial to use in training both puppies and dogs. You can use essential oils for concentration, focus and anxiety as you would a human. But the number one reason is that they are not toxic to the body. So many OTC products can cause liver and kidney damage, and essential oils are safe when used properly. Of course, as with any product make sure that you use the appropriate amount and dilution based on your pet’s weight and health. So keep in mind, as we do with humans, that if a dog is sick or toxic then it is best to use less essential oil at first. This is because most oils will detoxify the body at a cellular level.

There are several ways to apply or administer essential oils to dogs:

  • Apply directly on location;
  • Place oil in your palm then pet head to toe;
  • Place oil where the skin is thin such as belly and or inside of the ears;
  • Smell it right out of the bottle or from your hands! or
  • As a dietary supplement by placing in capsule as directed on bottle with vegetable oil and give to your pet in food or with food is best.

If you decide to use essential oils for home remedies make sure you use therapeutic grade essential oils. Perfume quality or aromatherapy grade oils can cause more harm than good especially if using them topically because they are distilled using solvents or are adulterated. Pure therapeutic grade oils are steam distilled and do not contain any chemicals.

However, always read through the specific oil information online or in a good reference book before you do decide to use it on your animal. Horses, cats and dogs love essential oils; but cats are a bit more sensitive so you have to be a bit cautious with them.

Here’s to happy healthy living using essential oils with you and your pet.

 

 

Pet Disaster Plan

October 2nd, 2015

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.

To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, contact Dirty Dogs Spa.
Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven

Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Step 3: Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
  • Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.
Step 4: Choose “Designated Caregivers”

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Step 5: Evacuation Preparation

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
  • Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.

Step 6: Geographic and Climatic Considerations

Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your Evac-Pack and supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed during the in-house confinement, so you may consider crating them for safety and comfort.

Special Considerations for Birds

  • Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
  • In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
  • Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
  • If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels that you can change frequently.
  • Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
  • It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
  • Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.

Special Considerations for Reptiles

  • A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
  • Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle.
  • Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).

Special Considerations for Small Animals

  • Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
  • Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.

 

What to do naturally, if your dog has Fleas…

September 21st, 2015

In spite of common belief, a normal dog experiences only minor skin irritation in response to flea bites. Even in the presence of dozens of fleas, there will be very little itching. On the other hand, the flea-allergic dog has a severe, itch-producing reaction to flea bites. This occurs because the dog develops an allergic response to flea saliva.

When the dog is bitten, flea saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes intense itching. This type of reaction is not to the flea itself but rather to proteins in its saliva. Dogs most prone to this problem, interestingly enough, are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally! A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to have a miserable dog.

The dog’s response to the intense itching is to chew, lick, or scratch. This causes hair loss and can lead to open sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial or yeast infection to begin. The area most commonly involved is over the rump (just in front of the tail), and left untreated will very often develop a yeast infection. Many flea allergic dogs also chew or lick the hair off of their legs, leading to hot spots.

In most parts of the country, the problem is seasonal. It is most severe in summer and fall in areas of the country that have cold winters. In warm climates where fleas are active year- round, they are a year-round problem, intensifying during summer.

Veterinarians may recommend treatment with small amounts of corticosteroids to give some affected pets relief during the flea season. However, these treatments may be dangerous to your pet if prolonged and only offer relief of symptoms at best.

The most important treatment for flea allergy is to get the pet away from all fleas. Therefore, strict flea control is the backbone of successful treatment. Unfortunately, complete flea control is not always possible for pets that live outdoors in warm and humid climates, where a new population of fleas can hatch out every 14-21 days.

DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion and Hot Spot Salve are safe, free from steroids and are immediately effective at relieving itch from flea allergies, fighting the associated fungal and bacterial infestations, and promoting healing of affected areas.  But the best idea is to prevent a flea infestation, or to get rid of it fast, before it can become a serious problem.

If you suspect your dog has fleas, or if you see one or two, it’s time for a bath with the organic DERMagic Flea Shampoo Bar, made with essential oils and food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). The Flea Bar kills fleas on the dog and provides an anti-microbial, calming and therapeutic effect for dogs with both dry and oily skin.  And, it is completely safe, using no toxins, preservatives, chemical insecticides, sulfates or other irritants that can aggravate sensitive skin.

The second step to elimination of fleas is to kill them in the pet’s environment.  DERMagic’s Flea Dust, made with diatomaceous earth, with its handy sprinkle-top, safely kills fleas in the carpet,
DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion and Hot Spot Salve are safe, free from steroids and are immediately effective at relieving itch from flea allergies, fighting the associated fungal and bacterial infestations, and promoting healing of affected areas.  But the best idea is to prevent a flea infestation, or to get rid of it fast, before it can become a serious problem.

If you suspect your dog has fleas, or if you see one or two, it’s time for a bath with the organic DERMagic Flea Shampoo Bar, made with essential oils and food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). The Flea Bar kills fleas on the dog and provides an anti-microbial, calming and therapeutic effect for dogs with both dry and oily skin.  And, it is completely safe, using no toxins, preservatives, chemical insecticides, sulfates or other irritants that can aggravate sensitive skin.

The second step to elimination of fleas is to kill them in the pet’s environment.  DERMagic’s Flea Dust, made with diatomaceous earth, with its handy sprinkle-top, safely kills fleas in the carpet, furniture, pet bedding, and wherever your pet hangs out.  You can even put it directly on your dog or cat!

DERMagic products are non-toxic, veterinarian-approved and made in the USA.  DERMagic works, guaranteed!

 

Reprinted with permission by Dr. Adelia Ritchie, Founder, and PhD Organic Chemist. All products may be purchased at Dirty Dogs Spa and Boutique, 929 Heritage Lake Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587. Phone: 919-453-0765, web: www.dirtydogsspa.com. Owner, Vanessa Davis.

Are you a Good Pet Parent?

September 17th, 2015

How many times have you seen or read about the horrific treatment of dogs, cats or other pets by their “owners”? I have and unfortunately, its sad to say that its been way too many times. But did you know there is more to being a responsible pet parent than just not abusing your pet?

Take the time to research the pet you want and the different breeds. Make a list, look at your families wants, lifestyle, activity level and the area that you have to offer your new furry family member. There are many options for pets. So taking the time to properly select one that will fit your family will prevent any regrets and the need for a wonderful pet ending up at the shelter later on.

When you chose to adopt, rescue or even “purchase” a pet from a breeder you are agreeing to take care of that pet for its full life. Just like having a child, you cant “trade” your child for a new model so why should you think that your pet can be traded for a younger or different “model” years later. Dogs are pleasers, all they want to do is make their owners happy. So why shouldn’t we treat them in the same loving and caring way.

Fulfilling your pets needs comes in many forms. Keeping your pets up to date on their immunizations is a must. This will not only protect your pet but any pet that they come into contact with. Whether you live in the city or the country, all of our pets are exposed to wildlife. These wild creatures can carry diseases that can be spread to our pets even with non-confrontational encounters. AND, making sure that your pet is regularly groomed. Regular brushing and bathing will help reduce and may prevent fleas and ticks from making a home on your pet. If your pet has longer hair, daily brushing and monthly trims are necessary to maintain a mat free coat and reduce the chances of skin issues.

If you have no intentions of breeding your pet then you should have them spayed or neutered. The most obvious reason is for their health. But a bonus to this is that they are less likely to roam and it will calm more hyper pets. There are a countless number of unplanned litters every years, we can help reduce that by simply spaying or neutering our pets.

Even if your pet is an “indoor” pet you should have him or her microchipped. Accidents can happen, pets can get spooked and slip out the door at a moments notice. Take the time to have your pets chipped, and then remembering to keep the information up to date on the chip is very important. On a daily basis we are seeing pictures of lost pets on Facebook and other social media sites.

If your pet is left outside take the time to make sure they have constant access to fresh water. During the day they need to have access to a cool shaded area. Chains can be dangerous, so if you do tether your pet, please make sure that the chain is not heavy and pulling around the dogs neck. In addition take extra time to assure that the pet can not get tangled around something and restrict their access to their water and food. Especially take the time to assure that they can not hang themselves.

Kennels are great, but they should not be used as a holding cell for any dog all day long. If you do need to crate your pet during the day then make sure that they get a good walk prior to being crated. Then, when you get home take Fido for a long walk, at least 30 minutes if not longer. Retrievers, for example, are balls of energy, so if they are able to find ways to utilize that energy outdoors they may take it out on your furniture.

Using a dog trainer for unruly pets can be one of the most responsible actions a pet owner can take. This will not only assure that Fido will learn proper manners, the owners will learn how to redirect the energy in to a positive outcome. This will make for a much better living environment for both pets and parents.

Finally, one that many pet owners forget. Ask yourself this question… Do I scoop? Being a responsible pet owner includes taking the time to pick up after your pet and properly disposing of their waste.

IF you are thinking of getting a pet or already have a pet, join us September 26 and 27, at our 3rd Annual Dirty Dogs Extravaganza, for seminars, microchip and rabies clinics, games, certifications, food trucks and more.