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How to Stay Safe and Have Fun When Kids and Pets Play

How to Stay Safe and Have Fun When Kids and Pets Play

Letting children, especially young children, and pets, especially new ones, play can be a little nerve wracking. The foremost worry is for the safety of the children, of course — it's more likely that an animal would physically hurt a child than the other way around. Unfortunately, kids can hurt pets too, and what's more, they can antagonize a pet to the point the animal will act out.

This is mostly due to two factors. First, children are still growing, learning, and testing boundaries, coupled with still learning how to verbalize their thoughts and needs. Second, pets can't verbalize at all, making it more difficult for them to communicate when they don't like something, want certain behaviors to stop, or are hurting. As a parent, you need to step in and fill this fundamental gap and help them understand each other.


Ensure new pets like kids

Keep in mind that some animals simply aren't comfortable around children, and that's okay. When adopting a new pet, especially if it's older, make sure to talk to the shelter or rescue organization staff to make sure the animal is safe to live with kids. Similarly, if you already have kids and kid-friendly pets but are ready to adopt a new pet, make sure to ask if the animal is also comfortable with other animals. Bringing a pet into a home where it's uncomfortable will only make them more and more stressed, and thus more likely to hurt someone.

Equine: Castration

Equine: Castration

Equine castration is the most common surgical procedure performed on horses. Not only does it prevent unwanted breeding, but it can also dramatically improve the behavior and management of your horse.


When should equine castration take place?

Equine castration usually takes place in either the spring or autumn months in order to avoid bacteria-carrying flies in the summer and the mud of winter. Traditionally, castration is carried out in a horse’s yearling year, but there is no reason why the procedure cannot be undertaken at other times. However, both testicles must have descended into the scrotum before the castration takes place. If one testicle is undescended, then waiting to castrate is usually the most viable option. However, it is possible to carry out a full castration via laparoscopy to find the retained testicle, although this requires much more surgical intervention and therefore a longer recovery period.

Your equine veterinarian will obtain the medical history and conduct a thorough examination of your horse before performing castration, to ensure that he is in good condition, has been wormed regularly, his vaccinations are up to date and he has not suffered any recent respiratory infection.

Ticks

Ticks

What are Ticks?

Ticks are arachnids that belong to the same family as spiders and mites. They are parasitic and feed on the blood of host animals. They are visible to the naked eye, but start of around the size of a pin head before swelling with blood as they feast. 

Animals living in the Southern States or near heavily wooded areas will have increased exposure to ticks which like to live in thick long grass, as it allows them to attach to host animals as they walk by. They are most active during the late spring and summer months and they are not fussy which breeds of animals they feed on. However animals that spend a lot of time outdoors will be more susceptible to ticks.


Symptoms of Ticks

Animals with few ticks can present with little or no symptoms and it is often not until there is a larger infestation or infection from the bites that signs become apparent. If and when symptoms do materialize they can include itching, scratching and visible red or inflamed irritations on the skin. 

Ticks can transmit a number of diseases including Babesia, Cytauxzoonosis, Lyme disease and Mycoplasma. Some animals can also have allergic reactions to tick bites which result in infections. Symptoms from these reactions or diseases can include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and pain and can last for several days or several weeks. If you are concerned that your pet has developed illness from a tick bite, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

6 Ways Owning a Pet is Good For Your Health

6 Ways Owning a Pet is Good For Your Health

It turns out that owning a pet is more than just adorable cuddles and trips to the dog park. Owning a pet can also improve your overall health and wellness.

On a psychological level, pets are shown to decrease levels of depression and anxiety. On an overall health level, owning a pet can decrease your blood pressure, increase your immune system, make you less likely to suffer from a heart attack and stroke, and more. 
 

1. Get a Pet & Get Rid of Stress

A study in 2002 by the State University of New York at Buffalo found that having your pet around during difficult tasks can decrease stress. They found that having pets helped participants stay calm and focus on the task at hand. Pets were even more beneficial than having a close friend or family member nearby. 

Promises Treatment Centers, which helps recovering drug addicts allows pets into their rehab facilities. The CEO of the facility recommends that having your pet around makes the recovery process less stressful, making drug addicts less likely to reach for substances as a way to decompress. 

So, the next time you’re going through a tough time at home or work, try taking a breather to hangout with your pets. 
 

2. Own a Pet & Lower Your Blood Pressure

A study by the CDC suggests that having a dog can lower your blood pressure, especially for high-risk hypertensive patients. Oftentimes, stress can cause high blood pressure. When life throws you stressful curve balls, having a dog (or cat) that loves you unconditionally can help you feel at ease. It’s also thought that owning a pet gives you more opportunities to go outside and exercise, which strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure.
 

3. Raise a Pet and Lower Your Cholesterol 

The CDC suggests that another healthy component of owning a pet is lowering your cholesterol. Research found that people who own pets (particularly men) have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than those without pets. Who needs Cheerios, when you can get a dog. Like lower blood pressure, it’s not known if the pet’s presence is specifically lowering cholesterol, or if it’s caused by the lifestyle that comes with owning a pet. 

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasounds allow the doctor to fully examine the liver, gallbladder, spleen, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, stomach, and intestines. An ultrasound exam is optimal when diagnosis depends on seeing inside the organ. Ultrasounds are completely painless and often can be done without sedation.

Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper

What is Canine Distemper?

Also known as CDV, Canine Distemper is a highly contagious viral illness that can be debilitating and even fatal. It not only affects dogs but can also be seen in certain species of wildlife, including foxes, skunks, and wolves. Puppies and non-immunized dogs are most commonly affected, but pets on immune-suppressants may also be vulnerable.

CDV is resistant to the majority of cleaning products, and household bleach is the only known way to eradicate it.
 

What causes CDV?

The CDV virus is mainly transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal via bodily fluids such as saliva from coughs or sneezes. Inhalation is the most common way it enters a new dogs system. CDV attacks the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system.

The virus does not live long once outside the body, so indirect contact is extremely rare.
As with most contagious diseases, animal shelters and kennels are much more likely to be contaminated.
 

Symptoms of CDV

The primary symptoms of CDV include but are not limited to:
 

  • Coughing

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Nasal discharge

  • Reduced appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Watery or pus-like discharge from the eyes
     

Once the virus reaches the central nervous system (CNS), it can cause twitching, seizures, and partial or total paralysis. This causes irreparable damage to a dog’s nervous system, resulting in death.

Why cats like to relax and sleep up high

Why cats like to relax and sleep up high

Cats are known for being notoriously fussy creatures. They demand attention when it suits them, but reject snuggling with their owner when it doesn’t. They are picky eaters, can appear aloof and indifferent to their owners and seem pretty happy to go it alone most of the time.

This fussy attitude often even extends to their sleeping habits, and many owners have gone out and spent a considerable amount of their hard-earned cash to provide a large, plush and expensive cat bed, only to find that their pampered pussy refuses to sleep in it. But is she just being fussy, or is there an ulterior motive for this behaviour?

According to animal behaviour experts, most cats prefer to sleep and hang out in places with good vantage points. It comes from their instinct to protect their themselves, and a high position for sleeping or resting gives them an aerial advantage for spotting any potential dangers around them. Much of this instinct comes from their ancestry. Early cats were hunters that lived in the wild, and their climbing ability meant that they had somewhere to retreat to away from larger predators, plus the capability of attacking smaller prey high up in the branches. Therefore, climbing and being up high was natural, and this has been passed down to the cats that we keep as pets today.
 

Feline Distemper

Feline Distemper

What is Feline Distemper?

Also known as FPV and Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can be debilitating and even fatal. Kittens aged between 2 and 6 months are the most vulnerable to the disease, followed by pregnant and immune-compromised cats. Surviving FPV comes with immunity to any further infections by the virus.
 

What causes FPV?

The FPV virus is mainly transmitted through direct contact with the blood, feces or urine of an infected cat. It can also be spread by fleas that have been feeding on a contaminated cat. Humans can inadvertently pass FPV after handling the equipment used by contaminated cats if they do not follow proper hand washing protocols. The virus can live on surfaces for up to a year and is resistant to the majority of cleaning products except for household bleach.

FPV attacks the blood cells of an infected cat and in particular those in the bone marrow and intestinal tract. If the infected cat is pregnant, the virus will also attack the stem cells of the unborn kitten. Additionally, FPV makes your pet more vulnerable to other viral and bacterial diseases.
 

Symptoms of FPV

The primary symptoms of FPV include but are not limited to:
 

  • Anaemia

  • Dehydration

  • Depression

  • Diarrhea (may be blood-stained)

  • High temperature

  • Loss of appetite

  • Rough coat

  • Vomiting
     

Other symptoms include lack of coordination, hiding away from owners, tucking feet away, or resting chin on the floor for prolonged periods.

Heartworm

Heartworm

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a serious illness that can cause heart failure, lung disease, organ damage and even death in dogs, cats and ferrets. Heartworm is most prevalent in pets living along the Atlantic Gulf coasts from New Jersey to the Gulf of Mexico, and in those living alongside the Mississippi and its main tributaries. However it has been found in pets in all of the US States.
 

What causes Heartworm?

Heartworm is caused by parasitic worm larvae that lives inside mosquitoes. When the mosquito bites an animal it transfers some worm larvae into it where the larvae then matures, mates and produces offspring inside its living host. The offspring produced by female adult heartworms is known as microfilariae and lives in the host animals’ blood stream. When a mosquito then bites an infected animal it draws microfilariae into its body where it turns it into infective larvae, beginning the cycle again.

Once an animal has been infected it takes time for the larvae to mature into adults that are capable of reproduction. In dogs this period is usually 6-7 months and in cats and ferrets around 8 months. Adult heartworms look like cooked spaghetti and can range in size from 4-6 inches in males and 10-12 inches in females. The number of worms found in a pet is known as its ‘worm burden’ and this can vary depending on the species of animal and the severity of the infection.
 

Heartworm in Dogs

The lifespan of heartworms within an infected dog is between 5 and 7 years and the average worm burden is 15. However dogs have been seen with worm burdens ranging from 1 to 250.
 

Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

The severity of the symptoms of heartworm in dogs is dependent on the worm burden of the animal, how long they have been infected and how well their body can cope with the disease. However it is usually broken down into four stages.

Class 1: no visible symptoms or very mild symptoms such as an intermittent cough or wheeze.

Class 2: mild to more moderate symptoms including intermittent coughing and lethargy or breathlessness after light to moderate exercise. At this time some heart and lung changes may be seen on x-rays.

Class 3: symptoms will include frequent or persistent coughing, lethargy and breathlessness after mild activity. Heart and lung changes will definitely be visible on x-rays.

Class 4: this stage is otherwise known as Caval Syndrome and is reached when an infected animal has been left untreated for an extended period of time. At this stage the animal experiences restricted blood flow to the heart caused by a blockage of worms. Heart failure is imminent and emergency surgery to remove the worms is the only course of action. However this comes with its own risks and most dogs with Caval Syndrome do not survive.

Training Your Pet

Training Your Pet

Once your pet has settled into your home it is a good idea to think about training. Training your pet can help ensure that the behaviors that they exhibit are primarily desirable ones. Dogs in particular like to please their owners and doing so will help retain a lifelong bond between you.


Training your Dog

Whilst dogs have earned a reputation as ‘man’s best friend’ thanks to their loyal and affectionate nature, just like their human counterparts they can sometimes possess annoying habits or personality traits that make them difficult to live with.

Training your dog will be hugely beneficial to your dog learning to live harmoniously alongside his human family. It will strengthen the bond between you and ensure his safety when out and about. Many dogs also find training to be a fun activity.

What is the best method to train my dog?
There are many different schools of thought as to how best to train a dog. Some owners prefer strict training with punishments for non-compliance, whilst others prefer to praise positive behavior and ignore undesirable reactions. Studies have shown that as a general rule the latter method works best, but however you decide to train your dog, in order to do so effectively you need to consistently control the consequences of your dogs’ behavior.

Dogs cannot relate events that are separated by time and so the consequences to behavior need to be immediate. You cannot praise your dog several minutes after returning to you when called as he will not understand why he is receiving it. The easiest way to train a dog is to reward the behaviors that you like and not reward those that you don’t.
 

  • If your dog likes the consequence you give them they will be more likely to repeat that behavior so they get the consequence again i.e. love, attention and praise.

  • If they dislike the consequences then they will do the behavior less often.


It really is that simple, but being consistent is vital otherwise you will send mixed messages to your pet. For example, if you do not want your pet to jump up at you (which they do to get your attention) then ignore them until they calm down. Praise and make a fuss of them as soon as they have returned to calm behavior. They will then learn that this is the way that you prefer them to behave. It may take several days or weeks of doing this, but your dog will soon learn the correct behavior to exhibit.

Picking your Perfect Puppy

With the World Canine Organization recognizing over 300 different breeds of dog across the globe, it can be extremely difficult to know which is right for you and your lifestyle. When deciding to bring a puppy into your home, you are making a committing to, usually, at least ten years of love, care, and attention. So ensuring that you select the right dog for you is absolutely crucial.

With this in mind, we have put together this article to look at the physical and behavioral characteristics of a few popular breeds when they are fully matured.
 

American Bulldog

Height (males): 22-28 inches Weight (males): 70-120lbs
Height (females): 20-26 inches Weight (females): 60-100lbs
Life expectancy: up to 16 years

Physical characteristics: Muscular, powerful and sturdy animals they are also surprisingly athletic. Its strong jaws and muzzle can mean it can look ‘mean’. The tail is low set, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The coat is short and smooth and comes in an array of colors.

Temperament: American bulldogs make extremely loyal pets that display strong protective instincts towards their families. Highly alert and great with children, they are sociable animals that need to know their place in the family hierarchy. A firm pack leader, good socialization from a young age and obedience training will make them easier to handle.


Exercise: They are relatively inactive when indoors, but need at least an average sized yard and a long daily walk.

Health: The breed is prone to hip dysplasia.
 

Alaskan Mamalute

Height (males): 24-26 inches Weight (males): 80-95lbs
Height (females): 22-24 inches Weight (females): 70-85lbs
Life expectancy: 12-16 years

Physical characteristics: The largest of the arctic dogs, the Alaskan Mamalute is a well-built animal that strongly resembles a wolf. It has a plumed tail, large thick feet with tough pads and a dense, coarse coat up to three inches in length and in an array of colors. The muzzle and legs are almost always white.

Temperament: These dogs are sociable, loyal and bright. They are better suited to older children and love to please their human family. However, because they are so friendly, they are more likely to welcome intruders than scare them, so do not make very good guard dogs! They have strong prey instincts, so they should not be around smaller animals. Strong leadership, obedience training, and proper socialization are critical as without them they can become destructive.

Exercise: Alaskan Mamalutes are very active and love the outdoors, so they are best suited to homes with large yards and an owner who can commit to long daily walks. High fences and buried fence bases are a must as they like to try and roam. They struggle with hot climates, so they will need less exercise and plenty of cool water and shade.

Health: This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, bloating, and dwarfism.
 

Bichon Frise

Height (males): 9-12 inches Weight (males): 7-12lbs
Height (females): 9-11 inches Weight (females): 7-10lbs
Life expectancy: around 15 years

Physical characteristics: A small and sturdy dog, the Bichon Frise has a short muzzle and dropped ears covered in hair. It has a thick tail that is carried over the back and a double coat of up to four inches in length that is usually a shade of white, cream, apricot or grey.

Temperament: These extremely sociable animals make ideal companions as they adore human company and love to please their owners. They are excellent with all ages of humans and other dogs and are affectionate and intelligent. As with all small dogs, there is a risk of developing small dog syndrome where the animal feels that he is the pack leader to humans. This can cause them to develop a number of behavioral problems, so ensure that steps are taken to prevent small dog syndrome from setting in by asserting yourself firmly as the pack leader.

Exercise: The Bichon Frise can happily live in an apartment provided they are given regular exercise through daily walks and play.

Health: This breed can be sensitive to flea bites, and prone to cataracts, skin and ear ailments, epilepsy, and dislocated kneecaps.
 

Boston Terrier

Height: 15-17 inches Weight: 10-25lbs
Life expectancy: approximately 15 years

Physical characteristics: Compact, square-bodied dogs with good muscle tone and erect ears; the Boston Terrier is a handsome animal. The legs are quite wide set, the tail is short, and the coat is short and fine.

Temperament: These are intelligent creatures that are easy to train and affectionate with their family. They are good with people of all ages and love to be sociable. Also at risk of developing small dog syndrome, so proper authority and obedience training is necessary to ensure that they know their place.

Exercise: Boston Terriers are suited to apartments as well as houses with yards, so long as they get regular walks and play. They are sensitive to extreme changes in weather.

Health: Their prominent eyes can be prone to injury, as well as a multitude of eye-related health problems, including glaucoma, ulcers, and cataracts. Deafness, tumors, and breathing difficulties when exerted or dealing with hot weather are also concerns.

General Pet Safety

General Pet Safety

Keeping your pet safe is the most important part of keeping both you and your pet happy. When you first adopt a pet or new breed of pet — or even better, before you adopt them — be sure to research the basics of your pet. When you finally select a pet, talk to the shelter staff about things you might need to worry about or watch out for. Of course, you can always stop by with your pet to discuss behaviors, concerns, or anything else.

Below we've got some general notes on basic safety tips, whether indoors or outdoors. Remember that traveling —that's more than a quick jog to the park or a ride across town for a play date— may require some extra steps based on the species of your pet. Traveling at any distance can give some pets anxiety, and there's other physical safety factors to consider. Come by and talk to us about what you may need, especially if you're about to travel abroad!

How to Bath your Cat and Survive Scratch-Free!

How to Bath your Cat and Survive Scratch-Free!

We all know that most cats like water as much as we like receiving a letter from the IRS! While they may spend hours grooming themselves to perfection, there are some circumstances that may mean that it is necessary to perform a thorough cleaning of your feline friend and this usually makes bathing them unavoidable.

Cat’s can find being bathed extremely stressful which makes them far more likely to become defensive or even aggressive, hissing, raising their fur and even lashing out at you. However, with some preparation and patience you can bath your cat and survive scratch-free and the secret involves not so much a bath, but a shower instead!
 

Get Organized

Just like bathing a baby; bathing a cat requires everything that you need to be within arm’s reach. You should have:
 

  • A shower or bath with a handheld shower head.

  • Several towels to clean her off and help her dry.

  • Specialist cat shampoo and conditioner. This is available from most good
     

pet stores and your veterinarian will be able to advise if there is a particular sort that would be good for your feline friend. You should never use human shampoo or conditioner as is has a different PH level to the sort suitable for cats and could damage your pet’s hair or skin.
 

Pre-bathing Prep

Before you start you should brush your cat to remove any knots or tangles, particularly if she is a long-furred breed. Set the water temperature to warm and have it running through the shower head at a medium level spray.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus

What is Canine Parvovirus?

Also known as CPV, Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that can be debilitating and even fatal. It has two main forms, the more common intestinal variety and the less common cardiac variety. Puppies aged between 6 weeks and 6 months old are most commonly affected, but early vaccinations can significantly reduce the risk of contracting CPV.

CPV is resistant to the majority of cleaning products and household bleach is the only known way to eradicate it.
 

What causes CPV?

The CPV virus is mainly transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal, or indirectly through contact with the stools of an infected dog which contain a heavy concentration of the virus. This contact can include inhalation as well as touch. The virus can also live in the ground for up to a year where it can be brought into contact with a dog by way of shoes.

Certain breeds of dog are more susceptible to CPV. These are: Alaskan Sled Dogs, Dobermans Pinschers, English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Pitbulls and Rottweilers. Dogs that take immunosuppressant medication or have not had adequate vaccinations are also more likely to contract CPV.

As with most contagious diseases, animal shelters and kennels are much more likely to be contaminated.
 

Symptoms of CPV

The intestinal variety of CPV affects an animals’ ability to absorb nutrients from their food. This means that an infected dog will rapidly become dehydrated and weak.
The primary symptoms of intestinal CPV include but are not limited to:
 

  • Anorexia / severe weight loss

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Coughing

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Pain, particularly if the abdomen is touched

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Vomiting

  • Wet tissue of eyes and mouth becomes red and inflamed
     

In rare cases of CPV a dog may exhibit symptoms consistent with hypothermia rather than a high fever. Cardiac CPV is extremely rare and usually only seen in very young puppies where it attacks their heart muscles. Cardiac CPV almost always results in death.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Finding a Reputable Breeder

With thousands of unwanted dogs living in shelters and desperately looking for new homes, we highly recommend that you at least consider adopting a puppy or adult dog. You will be able to find details of your local shelters and rescue centers online. However, if your heart is set on a purebred puppy then the very first thing you should do is find a reputable breeder.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who view breeding purely as a source of income and they have very little concern for either the current or future welfare of their puppies. However, by asking the right questions and making some careful observations, it is possible to distinguish between them and knowledgeable and professional breeders. Here is our guide to helping you find a reputable breeder for your pet.

Picking Your Perfect Cat

Picking Your Perfect Cat

If you have decided that a cat is the right pet for you, then you may think that the decision-making process is complete, but in fact, you are still at the very beginning. Cats, like humans, are all very different and selecting one to suit your needs and lifestyle is vitally important as it will require the commitment of your love, care, and attention for upwards of 10 years. Here is our guide to helping you pick your perfect cat.
 

Kitten or adult cat?

Many people instinctively choose kittens over adult cats, and this is largely due to their childlike cuteness, curiosity, and playful behavior. However, they may not realize that they need a great deal of supervision, patience, attention, and training. Leave unsupervised kittens in your sitting room for any period of time and you could be faced with a surprising level of destruction! It is also difficult to know exactly what personality they may develop once they outgrow their kitten traits. She may become a docile companion, or she may continue to be a mischievous and energetic ball of fur.

It is also important to remember that if you are bringing a kitten into a home with very young children, you will need to provide an added amount of supervision. This is because your child may be exhibiting the same curiosity and mischievous behavior as your kittens and will be unlikely to give them the gentle touch that they require.

By comparison, older cats may have outgrown some of that initial cuteness, but the typical behaviors that they exhibit after around the age of one will be a reliable indicator of their regular temperament.
 

Short vs long hair

Responsible pet owners always make sure that their pets are well groomed, and in the case of longer hair animals this can prove to be a considerable commitment. Long fur will need to be brushed at least once per day to prevent matting and so if you opt for a long haired, cat then you will need to ensure that you have sufficient time to dedicate to daily grooming.

Not all cats like bring groomed and if your cat doesn’t then you may have to enlist the services of a professional groomer. However, if your cat is one that loves to be pampered then she will come running as soon as she sees her brush!
 

Personality and pure breed vs mixed breed

While pure breed cats tend to conform to what is known as a ‘breed standard,’ meaning that you can predict their expected physical and behavioral characteristics based on breed type, each animal is still unique. Many people believe that purchasing a pure breed will not only guarantee its temperament, but will also ensure it has good health, but sadly this is not the case. Many pure breed animals suffer from genetic health problems due to inter-breeding.

It is also possible to estimate the physical and behavioral traits of mixed breed cats based on the combination of breeds used to create it. For example, combining two short-haired, highly active breeds will be extremely likely to produce another short-haired highly active cat.

As we have said, whether pure or mixed breed, each cat is unique and will require handling to suit their personality. Some are sedentary, some are active, some love to be stroked and handled, and others will only come to you for petting when it suits them. If you are looking for a companion cat, then you would ideally be looking for a sedentary and tactile cat, whereas if you are looking for a cat to play with children, then you should aim for an active breed.

The Importance of Pet Grooming

The Importance of Pet Grooming

While for many people the concept of grooming your pet conjures up notions of brushes and bows, it is in fact a vital element to their overall health and wellbeing. Regularly grooming your animal allows you to catch any underlying diseases or conditions early, meaning that they will be able to be treated quicker and more efficiently and will therefore be less likely to have any lasting effect on your pet.

However not all animals enjoy the grooming process and many owners find that it is easier to send their pet to a professional groomer on a regular basis instead. If you have a puppy or a kitten then training them to ensure the grooming process is an important part of their learning and will be beneficial to them as they reach maturity.

This is especially true of nail clipping and ear cleaning which require them sitting completely still for the process. Good breeders will often begin grooming their litters as soon as they are old enough to help get them used to the process. Even if you do opt to use a professional pet groomer, there are still a number of regular grooming techniques that you can do at home with your pet to strengthen your bond.

Here are some of the important benefits of pet grooming.

Basic Pet Bird Care

Basic Pet Bird Care

They may not be as common as dogs and cats, but birds make very interesting and rewarding pets. As with any animal, as a conscientious and compassionate owner it is your responsibility to make sure you are covering all aspects of your bird’s care, from her environment and nutrition to her grooming. Whether this is your first bird, or you are a more experienced aviary owner, there is always something new to learn or to refresh your memory about.

To help you give your feathered friend the best life possible, here is our brief guide to basic pet bird care.
 

Habitat

It goes without saying that your bird will need to live predominantly in a cage. However, as with most pets it is important that you provide her with as much space as possible. This means buying the biggest cage you can afford and have space for. She should be able to flap her wings without hitting any of the sides and there should be at least 2/3 perches for her to fly between. There also needs to be room for plenty of toys and water and food dishes.

Choose a cage that has bars that are too close together for her to get her head stuck between them and opt for one with a powder-coated finish since these are easier to clean and shouldn’t rust. Ensure it is secure and can be locked. Place her new habitat in a bright area of your home or yard, but not in direct sunlight.

You should line the bottom of the cage with newspapers, paper towels or other plain cage line paper. These are the most sterile and are the easiest to remove on a daily basis when cleaning out her cage. Substrates like sand or wood chippings easily grow fungus and bacteria, which could lead to your bird becoming sick.

 

Nutrition

A proper diet is essential for all species of animal including birds. The easiest way to feed your feathered pal is to use commercial formulated diets created specifically for pet birds. This ensures that she will get all of the nutrition she needs from one meal, rather than you trying to choose and balance foods.

Equine: Dentistry

Equine: Dentistry

One of the most important parts of responsible equine ownership is caring for their teeth and ensuring they are strong, clean and healthy. This is because oral health can have a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of your animal. Left untreated, dental problems can cause problems with the function of the nervous system, muscular balance, cardiovascular health, imbalance of chemicals in the body, digestive system and the structural stability of the head, neck, and tongue. Most equine dental problems begin as mild and treatable occurrences. However, they can rapidly increase in severity if left untreated. Regular check-ups by an experienced and qualified equine dentist are vital.
 

Symptoms of equine dental problems

One of the reasons that regularly scheduled check-ups are important is because many horses don’t display any clear symptoms of dental issues until they develop into major problems or begin to cause them pain. However, many responsible equine owners can tell when their horse isn’t feeling quite right. If they are unable to establish what is wrong, then there is a good chance that dental problems may be to blame.
Some of the signs and symptoms of equine dental problems that you can look out for include:
 

  • Tilting the head when not eating

  • Head tossing or shaking

  • Excessive saliva

  • Nasal discharge

  • Facial swelling

  • Foul breath

  • Dropping food

  • Stiffness on one side

  • Napping, bucking or rearing

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Grass packing in cheeks

  • Slow to eat or dips feed or hay in drinking water

  • Nervousness or a dislike of being handled
     

In some cases, behavior changes can also be a sign of dental problems. These could be mouthing or chewing the bit, unexplained subtle lameness, resisting bridling or even rearing or bolting.

Equine: Endoscopy

Equine: Endoscopy

When a person or animal is unwell, external symptoms and blood test results may only tell a small part of the story. Advances in medical technology mean that it is now possible to see what is actually happening inside you, and one of these procedures is known as an endoscopy.

An endoscopy can be used to view and analyze many parts of a horse including the upper respiratory tract, and parts of the gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary tracts. This helps veterinarians to make an accurate diagnosis and recommendation for treatment for a wide range of health problems.
 

Types of endoscopy

There are two main types of endoscopy available in the equine veterinary field. These are:

 

Fiberoptic Endoscope

This is the most common type of endoscope used for investigative surgery in horses. The endoscope is made up of a bunch of optical fibers that are enclosed within a waterproof rubber tube. The tube is passed into the horse’s body either through a natural body cavity or a surgical incision. The area is illuminated by a light source that passes through the fiber optics and then examined using an eyepiece that is attached to the external end of the fiber-optic cable.
 

Video Endoscope

This more advanced version of the endoscope has a tiny microchip video camera on the end of the scope which relays live feedback to a television screen in the room. This means that multiple people can view the feed, and it can be recorded and played back at a later time.

Exotic Animal Medicine

Exotic Animal Medicine

There are a wide variety of animals that can be kept as domestic pets. However, while some, like cats, dogs and rabbits are fairly common, others are much less popular. In the past, an exotic animal was a species that was
considered to be ‘wild’ in nature and not usually kept as a pet. However, today, an exotic pet is pretty much any animal that isn’t a cat or dog, although obviously some types of animal are still much more exotic than others.

The following animals tend to be classified as exotic animals and represent some of the more unusual pets in need of specialist veterinary care:

Amphibians - this includes frogs, newts, toads and even salamanders.

Birds – including budgies, parrots and birds of prey.

Crabs – in particular hermit and fiddler crabs.

Farm animals – including goats, llamas and pigs.
 

Ferrets


Insects and millipedes – including cockroaches, stick insects, praying mantis
and even ants.
 

Rabbits


Reptiles – such as lizards (including dragons, geckos and chameleons), snakes,
tortoises and turtles.

Rodents – there are a huge number of animals classed as rodents including
chinchillas, hamsters, rats, gerbils and guinea pigs.

Scorpions - in particular the emperor scorpion.

Spiders – the tarantula is the most commonly kept pet spider in the world.

Recognizing an Ill Pet

Recognizing an Ill Pet

Just like humans pets can have days where they feel a little lethargic and under the weather, but it is the natural instinct of an animal to try and disguise any signs of illness. They do this in the wild as showing weakness leaves them vulnerable to predators and open to attack. Unfortunately this can make it tricky to determine if your pet is feeling a little unwell or if they are suffering from a more serious illness.

There are a number of symptoms and changes in your pets’ appearance, behavior and physical condition that you can look out for. These include but are not limited to:
 

  • Abnormal vocal noises

  • Bloating of the abdomen

  • Blood in the stools or urine

  • Decreased energy or activity levels

  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting

  • Discharge from the nose or eyes

  • Excessive scratching or licking of the body

  • Foul odor from ears, mouth or skin

  • Increased shedding or bald patches

  • Limping

  • Lumps or tumors

  • Persistent hiding

  • Reluctance to use stairs

  • Seizures

  • Straining or an inability to pass urine or stools
     

Any of the above symptoms should be checked out by a veterinarian within 24/48 hours.

Symptoms that require immediate veterinary treatment include:
 

  • Bloated or hardened abdomen

  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea

  • Inability to stand up or urinate

  • Seizures


Whilst a sick pet may require inpatient treatment in care in your veterinary surgery for days or even weeks, you will need to continue providing them with care and compassion to aid their recovery when they come home. This can include administering medication, supporting physical rehabilitation, emotional care, and fulfilling any special dietary requirements.

Equine: Lameness Evaluation

Equine: Lameness Evaluation

Lameness is one of the most prevalent problems presented to equine veterinarians. The term is used to describe an abnormal gait or stance due to the animal feeling pain or experiencing a restriction in the normal range of movement caused by underlying mechanical or neurological problems. The pain or restriction can originate from any part of the body such as the hoof, the leg or neck. The degree of severity can vary from a mild change in gait to completely preventing the horse from using or bearing weight on the affected limb. Unfortunately, lameness is the primary reason that older horses are put down.
 

Why might my horse be lame?

There are many reasons why a horse can become lame, but some of the most common reasons include:
 

  • Abscesses or bruises in the hoof

  • Back and neck problems

  • Degenerative joint diseases

  • Fractures

  • Laminitis – inflammation of the soft tissue structures which attach the pedal bone to the hoof wall

  • Ligament injuries

  • Tendon damage

How to Help Your Pet Get More Exercise

How to Help Your Pet Get More Exercise

Regular exercise is just as important for pets as it is for human beings. Not only does it help keep their weight under control, but it keeps their joints supple and their heart healthy. Regular exercise benefits for pets include: Reduction in undesirable behaviors including chewing, barking, jumping up, and being predatory.
 

  • Maintaining your pets’ weight.

  • Helping your dog to unwind and sleep better at night.

  • Keeping your dog healthy and mobile.

  • Reduction in constipation and digestive problems.

  • Building a rapport with your pet and gaining their trust.
     

In recent years humans have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle, and our pets are following suit. However in order for our pets to live a long, happy and healthy life you need to ensure that activity is worked into their routine. Here is our guide to helping your pet get more exercise.
 

Exercise for Dogs

Until the start of the 20 th century dogs were primarily bred to work in a range of areas, for example military, farming, search and rescue and sensory support. Whilst some dogs still do work, the majority of them are now couch potatoes where they are provided with food and water and spend the majority of their time in a confined space. Their naturally active tendencies are fading and they are becoming lazy.

Dogs who do not have enough exercise can exhibit some undesirable behavior including:
 

  • Destructive: chewing, scratching and digging

  • Hyperactive: extreme excitability, jumping up etc

  • Play biting / rough play: your dog may nip you regularly when playing

  • Investigative tendencies: this can include garbage raiding

  • Predatory: your pet may get very territorial

  • Vocalization: increased barking, whining and other attention seeking sounds
     

Many people believe that access to a garden or yard counts as exercise, but unless you have the equivalent of a football field outside then it is not enough. Your dog will also doesn’t want to exercise alone. Interaction with him is the key to getting him moving.

It doesn’t have to mean running for miles either. As long as your dog is moving and his heart rate is increasing then it counts as exercise!

However before you start your pet off on a regular exercise routine there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
 

  • Dogs exercise needs vary depending on their breed and size.

  • Sustained jogging or running can be problematic for larger dogs as they
    are naturally more likely to suffer from cruciate ligament injuries such as
    hip dysplasia or arthritis.

  • Sustained jogging or running is also not recommended for dogs under 18
    months of age as their bones haven’t finished growing.

  • Brachycephalic breeds (those with short or flat noses) can struggle with
    their breathing during vigorous exercise, particularly if the temperatures
    are warm.


Ideally you should always consult with your veterinarian before beginning any regular exercise with your pet.
 

What sort of exercise can I do with my dog?

Almost all dogs will benefit from at least one half hour long walk per day. Ideally try and take him at the same time every day. This helps your pet to get into a routine and is also beneficial for helping your dog know what time of day he will get to empty his bladder/bowels.

If your dog is sociable then look into a local agility group or class. These can be quite competitive and intense but they provide a great workout for your pet and are a good way for you to make new friends too. Some of the activities that your pet will do are good for developing new skills too. Your veterinarian should be able to advise you how to find your nearest group.

You can’t beat a game of fetch. Simple, effective and you don’t need to go too far. If the weather is poor then you can even play it indoors if you have enough space.

If you live near a lake, river or beach then take your dog swimming. It is particularly good exercise for dogs with arthritis as it is gentle on their joints. If your dog is reluctant to get into the water, start by encouraging him to chase a ball or toy into the shallows.

Play hide and seek. It is just as important for your pet to exercise their brain as well as their body. Hide and seek is a light physical activity that stimulates your pets cognitive abilities.

REMEMBER: never let your dog off of his leash is you are not confident that he will return to you when called.

Poison Guide: What to do if you think your pet has been poisoned

Poison Guide: What to do if you think your pet has been poisoned

Sadly thousands of pets every year suffer from the accidental ingestion of harmful substances, many of them household poisons. Poisoning can cause extreme health problems and even death, but these can be prevented by understanding which common household toxins may harm your pet and how to poison-proof your home. This guide will also explain some of the symptoms you should look out for and what you should do if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance.
 

Most Common Poisons

We have taken information from the Pet Poison Helpline website to bring you information on some of the most common for cats and dogs. Please be aware that these lists are in no specific order and the toxicity levels for these poisons are variable.

Top Ten most commonly reported cat poisons:

1. Topical spot-on insecticides
2. Household cleaners
3. Antidepressants
4. Lilies
5. Insoluble oxalate plants
6. Human and veterinary NSAIDS
7. Cold and flu medication (e.g. Tylenol)
8. Glow sticks
9. ADHD/ADD medications and amphetamines
10. Mouse and rat poison
 

Top Ten most commonly reported dog poisons:
 

1. Chocolate
2. Mouse and rat poisons
3. Vitamins and minerals
4. NSAIDS
5. Cardiac medications
6. Cold and allergy medications
7. Antidepressants
8. Xylitol
9. Acetaminophen
10. Caffeine pills

Plants that are poisonous to pets Although there are thousands of species of plants, there are a few that are highly toxic to pets. This list represents some of the most poisonous plants to pets.

1. Autumn Crocus
2. Azalea
3. Cyclamen
4. Kalanchoe
5. Lilies
6. Oleander
7. Dieffenbachia
8. Daffodils
9. Lily of the Valley
10. Sago Palm
11. Tulips
12. Hyacinths

Avian Vet Care

Avian Vet Care

Birds may be slightly more exotic as pets go, but they are still wonderful companions for people who are looking for an alternative to a furry friend. However, the physiology of a bird is very different to that of a cat, dog or other mammal. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you register your feathered friend with a veterinarian who has the unique training and experience to be able to understand and manage injuries and health problems that may arise in birds.
 

Services included in avian vet care

As you might expect, the types of services that are usually included in avian vet care are very similar to those offered in standard veterinary offices that deal with less exotic pets. Some of the most common include:
 

  • Routine and comprehensive wellness examinations and assessments

  • Blood panels

  • Imaging tests including digital x-rays, CT scans and ultrasound scans

  • Preventative care

  • Fracture and beak repair

  • Behavioral consultations for undesirable behavior problems such as aggression

  • Diagnosing and treating a wide range of medical conditions, with in-patient care if required

  • Anesthesia / sedation services
     

How to find an experienced avian vet

Locating a veterinarian that specializes in birds will almost certainly not be as easy as locating a regular vet. One good resource to consider is the Association of Avian Veterinarians, who maintain a list of vets qualified to help care for pet birds. If you know someone who also has pet birds, you could ask them who their vet is and if they would recommend them.

First Aid for Pets

First Aid for Pets

Accidents and emergencies aren’t just for humans. While first aid is no substitute for emergencyveterinary care,

it is important for treating certain injuries and preventing symptoms or situations from worsening.

In critical emergencies opting to administer first aid before heading to your veterinarian could make the difference between the life and death of your pet.

As a pet owner it is your responsibility to try and ensure the safety and well being of your pet at all times. With that in mind, here is our guide to basic first aid for pets.
 

Bleeding (Externally)

Usually the sign of a fight with another pet or an accident, external bleeding can be dealt with relatively quickly and simply unless it is severe and/or located on the legs.

You may need to muzzle your pet to establish the site of injury as he may be in some pain. Once you have located it, press a thick; clean gauze pad over the wound, applying pressure until the blood begins to clot. It may take a number of minutes for the clot to gain enough strength to sufficiently stop the bleeding, so instead of checking every few seconds, hold the gauze in place for at least two minutes before lifting it to check if the bleeding has eased.

If your pet has severe blood loss from the legs then you should use a thin strip of gauze, elastic band or similar to create tourniquet between the wound and the body. Once it is in place you should cover it with a gauze pad and keep gentle pressure on the wound.

Loosen the tourniquet for around half a minute every 15 to 20 minutes so that you don’t cut the circulation off from the wound entirely, and get someone to drive you to an emergency veterinarian immediately as severe blood loss can be deadly for any pet.
 

Bleeding (Internally)

It may not always be possible to tell that your pet is bleeding internally, but some of the symptoms that you can look out for include:
 

  • Coughing up blood

  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth or rectum

  • Blood in urine

  • Pale gums

  • Rapid pulse rate

  • Weak pulse

  • Unconsciousness
     

If any of the above symptoms present themselves then you should make your pet as warm and
comfortable as possible and take him immediately to your emergency veterinarian.
 

Burns

If your pet suffers from any form of burn injury then you should muzzle him before applying large quantities of ice cold water to the affected area.

In the case of chemical burns then the water should be free-flowing; cleansing the skin as much as possible. Otherwise hold an ice cold compress to the burned area and immediately transport your pet to your emergency veterinary service.
 

Choking

Choking is just as common in pets as it is in humans, and knowing how to assist your pet if he chokes could save his life. Symptoms of choking include:
 

  • Struggling to breathe

  • Pawing at the mouth and nose

  • Choking sounds

  • Excessive coughing

  • Lips or tongue turning blue
     

Your pet will be in an extreme state of panic and is more likely to accidentally bite you, so using caution you should try and look into his mouth and see if any blockages are immediately visible. If you can see something obstructing your pet’s airway you should carefully try and remove it using tongs, pliers or tweezers, taking extreme care not to push the item further into the oesophagus. If it is not easily removed then don’t spent time repeatedly trying to reach it.

If you are unable to remove it or your pet collapses you should try and force air from the lungs in an attempt to push the object out from the other direction. The way you should do this is by putting both of your hands on the side of your pet’s rib cage and applying short sharp bursts of firm pressure.

Keep doing this until you manage to dislodge the foreign object or until you arrive at the emergency veterinary service.

Traveling With Your Pet

Traveling With Your Pet

Our pets are a beloved part of our family and sometimes this means that they have to travel with us when we undertake long journeys. As a general rule cats seriously dislike traveling and are almost always better off at home in their own environment. Dogs are more amenable to traveling, but there are still a number of considerations to make to ensure that the journey is both safe and comfortable for your pet. If planning to travel with your pet, please do make sure to take the time to read about health certificates to avoid difficulties and delays. 


Traveling by Car

The most important thing to remember is to ensure that your pet is not free to roam around the vehicle. Not only could this be distracting for the driver, but your pet will not be protected in the event of a crash. You may have seen dog seat belts being sold in some pet stores. Whilst they have been approved for sale, there is no reliable evidence proving them to be effective in accidents. Instead you should secure your pet in a crate that has been tethered to the car by a seatbelt or other secure method. Ensure that crate is big enough for your pet to change position if they become uncomfortable.
 

  • Do not put animals in the front passenger seat of your vehicle. If the airbag deploys then there is a chance that your pet could be seriously injured.

  • Do not ever leave your pet alone in the car. Animal thieves frequent parking lots and service stations looking for unattended pets to steal. Also leaving an animal alone in a warm car can be fatal. On a day where the outside temperature is 85F, the temperature inside your vehicle can reach 120F in just 10 minutes putting your pet at serious risk.

  • Do not allow your pet to stick his head outside a moving vehicle. Doing so risks injury or sickness by fast-moving air forcing itself into your pets’ lungs.

  • Never transport your pet in the back of an open pick-up truck.

  • Make plenty of bathroom breaks. This will also allow your pet to stretch their legs and have a drink.

  • As a general rule, if you wouldn’t allow your child to do it then do not allow your pet to do it either!

Bringing Your Pet Home

Bringing Your Pet Home

When it comes to bringing a new pet into your home, preparation is crucial in order for them to make a successful transition. It can take days, weeks or even several months for your pet to consider your home its new home. Here are our top tips for helping your new pet settle in.

 

Supplies and equipment

Ensure that you have all of the supplies and equipment that your new pet will need. This includes fundamental items such as a bed, water bowl and food, as well as toys and other items to stimulate their cognitive development and keep them entertained. Remember that your pets’ emotional wellbeing and mental stimulation is just as important as their physical needs.

 

Prepare any other pets in the home

Ensure that any other pets in the home are up to date with their vaccinations. Whilst shelters do their best to treat any viruses, occasionally re-homed pets do bring new diseases with them that could be transmitted to existing pets in the household.

You may also have to introduce existing pets to your new pet gradually until they get used to one another. For cats especially, keep your new friend in a separate room for at least 3 days prior to slowly introducing them to established housemates under supervision. With dogs we recommend introduction outside the house in a neutral environment. Remember to support the established pet in the household and give them separate access to attention and resources. Dogs live in a hierarchy and there are more likely to be dominance issues in the future if you support the new puppy rather than the established dog. Remember you have just brought home your established pet’s new roommate and life partner with no input from them! It’s going to be an adjustment.

 

Register with a Veterinarian

As soon as you bring your pet home you should register with a veterinarian and make an appointment for your pet to have a thorough health check. Ideally, this should be done within a week of their arrival. They can advise on the correct vaccination protocol for your pet and ensure that there are no underlying illnesses or concerns. When possible, send all available medical records to your veterinarian ahead of time so they can review the information prior to your first appointment.

You should also speak to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your pet if your pet hasn’t already been altered. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of spaying and neutering.

 

Establish rules and guidelines in advance

Establishing some basic house rules ahead of your pets’ arrival can help create a routine that your pet will quickly adopt. Knowing what to expect will also help him settle in much faster. Assigning specific responsibilities to family members can help them bond with your pet and take ownership of their commitment as a pet owner.

Being consistent with rules for your pet will make training them much easier. For example, do not start off by letting your pet sleep on the sofas if this is not a behavior you want to continue in the future.

Pet Loss Support

Pet Loss Support

Letting children, especially young children, and pets, especially new ones, play can be a little nerve wracking. The foremost worry is for the safety of the children, of course — it's more likely that an animal would physically hurt a child than the other way around. Unfortunately, kids can hurt pets too, and what's more, they can antagonize a pet to the point the animal will act out.

This is mostly due to two factors. First, children are still growing, learning, and testing boundaries, coupled with still learning how to verbalize their thoughts and needs. Second, pets can't verbalize at all, making it more difficult for them to communicate when they don't like something, want certain behaviors to stop, or are hurting. As a parent, you need to step in and fill this fundamental gap and help them understand each other.


Ensure new pets like kids

Keep in mind that some animals simply aren't comfortable around children, and that's okay. When adopting a new pet, especially if it's older, make sure to talk to the shelter or rescue organization staff to make sure the animal is safe to live with kids. Similarly, if you already have kids and kid-friendly pets but are ready to adopt a new pet, make sure to ask if the animal is also comfortable with other animals. Bringing a pet into a home where it's uncomfortable will only make them more and more stressed, and thus more likely to hurt someone.

How to Adopt a New Pet

How to Adopt a New Pet

A new pet can be very exciting! But do you know where to find the pet that's right for you? Choosing which pet you'd like can be hard, and not just because you have to choose between one kitten or puppy and another. We've got the tips to help you make the right decision — for you, and for the animal.
 

Things to keep in mind

Deciding to adopt a new animal is a big decision and one that shouldn't be made impulsively. Pets need to be cared for and loved like any other member of the family, and that takes time, effort, and money. Do you have a yard large enough for a goat to live comfortably? Do you have time more than once per day every single day to walk your dog? Do you have enough money to buy fresh litter for your cat regularly?

Only adopt an animal if you feel confident in your ability to care for them. This includes being able to care for animals you buy for your kids. By their nature, children will want to participate in all the fun parts and have trouble consistently remembering or even wanting to do the dirty work. If you won't be able to care for the animal when your kids can't, that leaves the pet as the one that's hurt or neglected.

But we understand that sometimes things change! If you can no longer care for your animal, contact the shelter or organization you adopted the animal from, or feel free to come in and talk to us about potential options. Please, never abandon your pet!

Best flea treatments for dogs and cats

Best flea treatments for dogs and cats

Fleas are one of the most common external parasites of pets and in addition to causing itchiness, can also transmit diseases to pets and people. Fleas are mostly species-specific and prefer to feed on dogs and cats so it is possible to have fleas in your home without them biting you. Unfortunately, fleas can be extremely frustrating to get rid of because they live on both the pet and in the environment. Here are some tips below to help break the flea cycle. 

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

It is not uncommon to be able to spot fleas jumping off and on your pet’s body, but they are very small and very fast. They are flat-bodied, dark brown or black in color (unless they are full of blood in which case they can be lighter) and usually less than an eighth of an inch big. Typical behavioral symptoms include restlessness and chewing, scratching or licking certain parts of his body more often than usual when they have a flea allergy. However, not all pets act itchy when they have fleas. If you suspect that your dog or cat has fleas, you can check his skin and coat for signs of them or ‘flea dirt’ which looks like regular dirt but is actually flea feces. If you aren’t sure if it is actual dirt rather than flea dirt, put some on a paper towel and add some water. If it is flea dirt, then it will turn a reddish brown as it will contain blood that the flea has ingested and then excreted. Again, just because YOU don’t have flea bites, does NOT mean your pet can’t have fleas.

The Flea Life Cycle

The adult female lays eggs on the host (your pet) where they fall off to hatch in the environment. Eggs incubate best in warm, humid environments which is why flea populations can thrive in the summer and indoors. Once the eggs hatch, the fleas live as larvae in the environment for as little as 9 days before pupating. Larvae are killed at 95 degrees so they have to live in the shade or indoors, out of the summer sun. The larvae spin a cocoon and become a pupa which can remain dormant for months. The pupa can wait to emerge until they detect a host nearby then they emerge as an adult flea. An unfed flea can live for months without a meal but after it has its first blood meal, metabolic changes occur and it only lives for about 4-6 weeks. The female flea produces eggs within 24-48 hours of her first meal. On average the life cycle of the flea from egg to adult takes about 3 weeks.

While they are larvae, fleas can pick up tapeworms. If your pet ingests a flea while grooming they can get a tapeworm infection as well.

Finding the right treatment

With so many different flea treatments available on the market, finding the right one can be tricky. We have put together this list of some of the best and most effective flea treatments for dogs and cats to get you started, but discovering which works best for you and your pets may require some trial and error. To treat fleas, we recommend treating EVERY pet in the household for a minimum of 3 months.

Frontline® Plus for Dogs and Cats

A topical version of Frontline®, this formula will repel fleas and other pests at all life stages for a full 30 days. This helps to prevent re-infestation and keep your home clear of fleas for a month at a time. Like other Frontline® products, it is free of potentially harmful insecticides and water-resistant. Please keep in mind that the dog and cat formulas are NOT interchangeable and should only be used for the labeled species.