Dog Heartworm: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The heartworm is a dangerous and potentially deadly parasite that is transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on this prevalent canine medical condition.

What are the symptoms?

The severity of the symptoms determines its classification. Dogs can have Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 heartworm disease.

Class 1
It its earliest stages, dogs that have heartworm disease may not present any symptoms at all, making the condition especially difficult to detect and treat.

Class 2
Dogs with Class 2 heartworm disease may suffer from chronic bouts of coughing and become increasingly reluctant to engage in physical activity.

Class 3
Class 3 is the most severe form of the disease. At this stage, symptoms may include fainting, intolerance to exercise, diarrhea, vomiting, fainting and anemia. The veterinarian may also find that the dog has an abnormal heart rate and high blood pressure.


Is heartworm dangerous?
Heartworm may lead to high blood pressure and lethargy, and eventually cause heart failure. It is imperative that you have your dog examined as soon as possible if you suspect that it’s infected.

The veterinarian may perform an electrocardiograph scan to look for any abnormalities of the heart. Diagnosing and treating heartworm disease can save your dog’s life.

How is heartworm treated?
Young heartworms can be killed with a medication called prophylaxis. Dogs that have adult heartworms will need to be hospitalized and will also need a medication that will need to be professionally administered. This medication is often referred to as an adulticide.

Some dogs will be released after a short period of time. Others will need to stay longer. Dogs that have blood clots or other complications may need to be hospitalized extended periods of time.

Your pet’s activity will need to be restricted after they are given the adulticide. During recovery, veterinarians also recommend that dogs follow a low-sodium diet.

The success rate of adulticide is quite high, with close to 98% of dogs showing no signs of heartworm disease once the treatment has been completed.

Can heartworm disease be prevented?
There are many things that can be done to prevent heartworm disease. Firstly, dogs that are at risk will need to be given prophylaxis on a regular basis and undergo blood tests. Protecting your dog from mosquitoes by making sure that it wears repellent can also help minimize the risk.

Article Supplied.

How much research do we do before adopting a dog?

Something which may surprise a lot of dog owners recently emerged in the news, as the results of a survey from Legal & General revealed that one in every three dog owners did little to no research before deciding on which breed of dog to adopt.

This may feel like a high number, but as some of us know it’s sometimes the dog who chooses the owner rather than the other way around.

adopting a dog?

Out of those surveyed who did their research before adopting, common considerations for settling on a specific breed was size at 43%, followed by temperament at 41% and 34% who considered their breed based on their lifestyle. 11% of people surveyed thought about how much adopting a dog would cost, and just 7% looking into the price of insurance policies.

Considering the numbers, it isn’t much of a shock that 14% of owners said that they had five or more visits to the vet in the past year. 45% of owners also revealed that at some point they have also had to pay a visit to an emergency vet, which can come with astronomical costs.

adopting a dog

Worryingly, 36% of owners revealed that they don’t have pet insurance, with 46% saying that there is no need for it. Thankfully, 48% of owners said that pet insurance is a life safer (and will surely be made up of those who had to visit the emergency vet!)

Sadly 6% of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their chosen breed, so to help lower this number Legal and General have released the Breed Selector, an tool which, instead of allowing you to choose the ideal dog for you, allows a dog to choose you as their ideal human.

It’s a fun tool that asks about you, your home and your lifestyle, and matches you with a breed which fits in with what you’re looking for.

adopting a dog

As we all know, owning a dog can be hard work, but it is also rewarding and can bring love and joy to our lives. Whilst research is important before deciding who we want to bring home, we can’t always decide who we fall in love with and want to join the family.

For more information on pet insurance from Legal and General, more information is available on their website.

How to keep your dog comfortable while travelling in winter

Even though our furry friends are just that – furry – even the poofiest pooches can get a bit chilly in the UK’s icy winter temperatures. Yes, dogs were originally wild animals (and some still are), but a few thousand years of domestication has led to a love of pampering. And who can blame them?!

With that in mind, here are a few ways to help your dog keep comfy while travelling in winter.

  • Find dog-friendly accommodation

This might seem like an obvious point, but when you’re planning your holiday with your canine friend(s), it’s definitely the most important!

The words ‘dog-friendly accommodation’ are like music to a dog owner’s ears, as the vast majority of accommodation is human-only. Finding the perfect hotel, self-catering cottage or bed and breakfast can often feel like stumbling upon gold dust. It’s not often that you find all your preferred amenities and luxuries in a property, with the addition of it being dog-friendly.

When it comes to finding the right accommodation for you and your dog in winter, comfort is key. Is there a safe, warm place for your dog to sleep? Is there a roaring fire to up the cosy factor? Is there an enclosed garden, so that you don’t have to walk around in the cold with your dog while they do their business? All of these elements make a holiday much easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup, so make sure you’re armed with your tick list before you browse!

Woodfarm Barns has all of these features, and more. We don’t just tolerate dogs – we encourage them! And that’s why our beautiful, luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages are a perfect choice for holidays all throughout the year, and also why we’ve built our reputation in this market.

  • Take blankets in your suitcase

If your dog loves to snuggle, ensure you bring a couple of their favourite blankets with you in your suitcase.

Often, we care about our own comforts and forget that our pets enjoy theirs too. Bringing a couple of blankets along on your trip will not only keep your dog warm, but will provide them with a familiar scent of home. This is often very handy when a dog is in an unknown place, as it is likely to help them settle into their surroundings.

  • Wipe paws after playing in snow

Although we are usually blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with only a couple of days’ worth of snow per year in the UK, it often settles quickly during those cold January and February months, creating a super fun situation for our dogs.

It’s a real pleasure to watch your pet playing in the snow, however, it’s very important that their fur and paws are cleared of snow once they’re finished. Firstly, snow can become contaminated with chemical-containing products such as anti-freeze and de-icer. If your dog licks their paws after paying in snow, they could ingest those same products and become ill. Also, snow can dry out your dog’s paw pads and cause them to crack, making it painful for your dog to walk.

When they come back inside from playing in the snow, simply wipe down your dog’s fur and paws with a towel to clear away the snow or ice.

  • Avoid leaving your dog in the car

Of course we all know that dogs should not be left in hot cars, but did you know that cold cars can be deadly too?

Car interiors lose heat very quickly in cold weather, meaning that anything left inside will become cold, including your dog. It’s most likely that they’ll just be uncomfortable, however in particularly cold climates or if your dog is exposed to low temperatures for a long time, they could develop hypothermia.

If you’re going to be travelling with your dog in the car, try planning ahead to make sure the places you’re visiting allow dogs. That way, your dog will be safe and happy knowing that they are with you, and you can rest assured that they are comfortable. For Suffolk-based holidays, the Woodfarm Barns-owned website whered www.wheredowe.co.uk owe.co.uk has lots of info on dog-friendly restaurants, shopping facilities and, of course, walks.

We at Woodfarm Barns and Barges hope you have a waggly tail of a time, wherever you plan to go on your winter holiday. We hope our top tips for dog-friendly winter travel come in handy, and help you and you dog keep safe and comfortable, and have lots of fun!

BREXIT – Your travel questions answered

Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel set the record straight

Show date: Friday 9th November

Show time: 1:00pm

With less than 6 months to go until March 29th, there has been continued speculation amongst politicians and commentators as to what Brexit will mean for travelling to the EU from the UK.

The outcome of this is a nation confused. That confusion spreads across areas such as Passports, both human and pet, EHIC cards and their validity, whether the need for an internal driving permit, a visa to travel, and even on to what this means for duty-free goods.

With much confusion, and with no sight yet of a deal or no deal position, who should we be listening to and where should be going for known information and fact.

Joining us to answer these questions and more live in the studio are Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel, the single biggest carrier of people to mainland Europe

https://www.eurotunnel.com/brexit

brexit pet passport

Grooming your Puppy for the First Time

All good dog owners know that grooming isn’t just about primping your pet to look cute; it’s also about maintaining good health.

The first time you groom your puppy is an important occasion that requires careful preparation and dedication. Don’t be put off by your inexperience; it’s easy to do once you know how. If you approach the situation armed with good advice and confidence, all will go smoothly for you and your furry friend.

Puppies are obviously going to be more challenging to groom than an older dog, and the first grooming experience is much like a child’s first haircut, i.e. expect some tears and tantrums!

Grooming Preparation:
In the weeks before grooming, concentrate on building a positive relationship with your puppy and ensure he is as comfortable as possible with touch and being handled in anyway. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for grooming. Your aim is to make each session a calming, bonding experience.

You can practice this with positive reinforcement whenever you feed your puppy from your hand; stroke your puppy as it is lying down and gradually teach that being held by you is not dangerous.

Create a friendly environment so that your puppy immediately knows that whatever is about to happen is safe and enjoyable. Show affection with petting and soothing words so that the puppy is relaxed.

Keep your first groom session short, that way the puppy won’t misbehave and when you are ready for a second session, your puppy will be more used to the process and you can gradually go for longer each time.

Keep your puppy loosely restrained so that you can maintain your control without frightening him is also important.

Bath Time
Begin with a nice, relaxing bath using puppy shampoo and conditioner. Take care not to get soap in the puppy’s eyes. To really put your dog at ease, you can give it a massage as you work your way lathering down the back towards the tail and back legs.

Brushing
For the first session keep the brushing to a minimum. Be aware that any brushes, clippers and tools might alarm the puppy so show each brush or comb to the pup first before giving a treat as a reward. Do this a few times before then giving the puppy a few short strokes with the item. Be mindful of sensitive areas at first like inner legs and tail.

Clipping
Remember that clipping your dog’s claws is not the same as trimming your own nails. Cut at a 45-degree angle so as to avoid trimming the blood vessel that runs into the nail (which will be a painful experience for your dog if it gets cut by mistake!). You need to only cut the part of the nail that extends beyond this blood vessel known as a ‘quick.’

If unsure about clipping claws you should seek advice from a vet beforehand.

Grooming sessions at first should be short but done fairly often so that your puppy becomes accustomed to them and learns to associate them as just another fun activity to share with you.

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

The silly grin and gentle tail wag from our furry friends never fail to brighten our day. Not only do dogs make excellent house pets, but they are also proven to make our lives happier. After all, all they do is makes us laugh and smile (except of course if they get a poop or pee accident!).

However, it’s not all about them making us happy, because we, as responsible dog owners should also bring back the favor to them. There are lots of ways you can do that, one of which is by making your home as dog-friendly as possible.

Let them roam freely and safely inside your house and backyard and giving them quick access to essentials like food and water goes a long way for your canine buddies. You can also give them toys to play on so that they won’t get bored and be destructive.

It’s all about ensuring that they stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. And take note, dogs have feelings too!

Well, some of you might think that having a dog is a walk-in-the-park — but it’s not.

It’s just like raising a child, except for the fact that it’s harder! But then again, it’s not a big problem because we’re going to help you become a responsible dog owner. As long as you love what you’re doing and you know what to do, then you’re on your way to raising your “super dog”.

Want to know more? If so, then scroll down to check out this creatively informative graphic from AXA. It’s a life saver!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

The Safest Materials for Your Dog Bowls

dog bowls

You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to selecting a material for your dog bow. There is a variety of options in the market, including stoneware, ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, slow-feeding, nonskid and even automated portion-sized dog bowls. However, even with so many options out there, there are still some materials that are naturally safer than others. According to forthefurry.com, here are the five most common, including an exploration of whether they are safe or not.

Plastic Dog Bowls
This is by far the most commonly used material for dog bowls. However, it isn’t the safest. In fact, it can often be the worst material for a dog bowl.
To start with, young teething pups tend to chew a lot on their feeding bowl. A few minutes without you looking and your little pup can tear the bowl apart and ingest the little pieces of plastic. What follows is internal bleeding and blockage of the intestinal system.
Plastic bowls can also be highly porous and easy to scratch. The result is that they develop crevices that make for perfect homes for dangerous bacteria.

Ceramic Dog BowlCeramic Dog Bowls

Ceramic dog bowls are often a pretty good choice, assuming you’ve done your homework before going out to buy one. You should also take care of them to ensure they last longer. The greatest concern when it comes to ceramic dog bowls is that the glazes used to coat them may sometimes contain harmful chemicals like lead. You should be careful about this and go for those that have been certified for food use and are free of lead in their coating. You should also regularly inspect your dog’s ceramic bowl to check for chips and cracks that can harbor bacteria. You also shouldn’t let your dog ingest any chips from the bowl. With such bowls, maintenance is the biggest issue. They are, however, a terrific choice.

Stoneware Dog BowlsStoneware Dog Bowls

Stoneware bowls may have trace amounts of lead so you should be careful about the ones you buy. Lead is very dangerous for pets and can lead to lead poisoning. The symptoms of lead poisoning include cardiovascular problems, renal and kidney problems, skeletal problems, disorders of the muscles and joints, nerve disorders, loss of memory, intellectual impairment, mood swings, infertility and cancer. Select stoneware bowls that are free of lead. Apart from the lead issue, however, stoneware dog bowls are much safer than plastic dog bowls as they don’t chip as easily.

Silicone Dog Bowls
Silicone is a relatively recent material on the market. It is rubber-like, nonstick and nontoxic. It has high heat resistance and does not retain any odors. It can also help you save space as such dog bowls are typically collapsible.

Stainless Steel Dog BowlsStainless Steel Dog Bowls

These dog bowls are nonporous, which means you don’t have to worry about bacteria. They are also resistant to rust and very easy to clean. Steel also isn’t exposed to as many dangerous chemicals as plastic is during its manufacture.

Animal Welfare Act 2018: What does it mean?

Important changes are taking place in England, affecting anyone who breeds, boards, sells or provides day care for dogs. From 1st of October, the new Animal Welfare Act 2018 will come into force providing extra protection for the welfare of our pets.

Animal Welfare Act 2018

From October, dog owners in England will be able to check whether a doggy daycare or home boarder have a licence and see a star-rating awarded by the local authority. The amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will bring changes in terms of licensing and local authority compliance to anyone who sells, breeds or cares for dogs as a business.

As stated on the Dogs Trust website: “There have been significant advances in the understanding of dog behaviour and welfare in recent decades. [We are] pleased that the Government is updating this old legislation, which pre-dates the Animal Welfare Act, and are introducing measures to ensure those conducting animal activities are doing so to the best standards of animal welfare.”

Who must be licensed?

Boarding kennels
At-home boarders
Breeders
Doggy day-care providers

However, the changes to the legislation allow dog walkers, dog groomers, and dog hydrotherapists to continue without the need for a licence from their local council.

A key reform to replace a variety of outdated legislation will be to introduce a single licence for pet vending (selling), dog breeding and animal boarding including home dog boarders and pet daycare. These licences will be issued for a fixed term rather than annually at any point in the year.

Each council will use a risk-based approach to licensing, meaning lower risk and high performing business will be allowed a longer licence with fewer inspections. This new practice aims at incentivising licence holders to operate at and maintain higher standards, enabling council resources to better targeted.

For breeders and sellers, stricter regulations under the new licence will mean better protection for dogs. From October, it will be prohibited to sell puppies below the age of eight weeks in all cases matching the regulation already in place in Wales and Scotland.

The Government, along with several animal charities, hopes the new legislation and focus will help tackle puppy farms in the UK and make it easier for councils to focus their attention on combating issues affecting animal welfare in their local areas.

PetStay has been a strong advocate for licensing, ensuring all their carers across the 42 branches hold a valid licence to care for dogs in their home. Established since 2005, PetStay has built a reputation on the high criteria of their dog carers, ensuring they are checked by branch owners as well as the local authority.

To find out more about our PetStay Carers click here.

petstay

ANIMAL MAGIC COMES TO MAIDSTONE AS ‘WE LOVE PETS’ FRANCHISE OPENS!

Award-winning animal care franchise We Love Pets has opened a new branch in Maidstone.

The local franchise has been taken up by Elaine Dunn, aged 52, who will be helping pet owners with dog walking and boarding, cat sitting and even looking after snakes, lizards and bigger animals.

Elaine, who recently moved back to her birth town of Maidstone, decided that the time was right to start a new career with animals after leaving the care profession. She has already taken on one member of staff to help her with dog boarding and is looking forward to growing the venture.

The mum-of-four said: “Working with animals is my dream and comes so naturally. Already, we’ve helped customers with dog boarding and walking. It’s important for me to do something that helps people who perhaps don’t have the time or mobility to do it themselves.

“I’m delighted to be able to work with We Love Pets and to continue their great track record. I’m looking forward to providing an exceptional service to my customers and Maidstone is a great place to do it thanks to its numerous parks and nature reserve meaning there’s lots of variety and somewhere new to walk all the time.

“We Love Pets have given me so much support already; they’ve been doing this for ten years and the business model is proven to work. They made me feel they care about me and my success. Plus, being outdoors in the fresh air is such a bonus in any job I’d say.”

For more information, click onto www.we-love-pets.co.uk/areas-covered/maidstone

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Harmful to Dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is manufactured from the fermentation of apple cider. It involves the breakdown of sugars in food substances using yeast and bacteria. The process starts with the conversion of sugars to alcohol and then the solution is fermented further to vinegar.

Over the years, most people believe that apple cider vinegar is rich with enzymes and nutrients that are fundamentally important to humans. But the question is: are these properties also beneficial to dogs?

Let’s start by saying that apple cider vinegar isn’t harmful to your dog. To give you a better understanding, we are going to discuss the various ways through which apple cider vinegar might actually be an excellent addition to your dog’s cleaning and feeding routines.

Why is Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial to Dogs?
Research has shown that apple cider vinegar has a couple of nutritional and health benefits to your dog. Below are some of them;

1. Improves the Digestion of Your Dog
The first question that runs through your mind is; can my dog consume apple cider vinegar? Will it harm my dog? Well, ACV might be safe for consumption by the dog but you really need to be careful with the amounts you administer.

The natural ingredients in apple cider vinegar will improve the digestion of your pooch by reducing bloating or gas, but it’s advisable to give her the ACV in controlled amounts. That is because too much of the ACV will lead to stomach upsets and other related health complications.

All in all, ACV is great addition for dogs suffering from diarrhea or constipation. But you should note that a portion of plain apple cider vinegar will be as uncomfortable to dogs as it is to humans. In that case, you should add a few drops of this ingredient to water before giving it to your dog. It’s also best that you look for raw apple cider vinegar than the commercial produced one for better results.

2. Prevents and Cures UTIs
So far, there has not been any evidence showing apple cider vinegar can cure UTIs. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this ingredient as a first resort to any urinary infection in dogs. However, some of the dog owners say that using apple cider vinegar on their dogs on a daily basis has prevented urinary tract infections.

When there is too much alkalinity in the urinary tract, it allows the entry and growth of bacteria. Therefore, it’s only logical that the acidity in the apple cider vinegar will balance out the alkalinity hence reducing the UTI infection. However, before settling for the ACV in treating the unrinary tract infections, please contact your vet.

3. Prevents and Cures Ear Infections
Most people use apple cider vinegar to flash out debris out of their dog’s ear. During summer, your dog is likely to get a brown sludge or debris stuck out in her ears especially after a long day in the pool or the sea swimming and diving. However, with apple cider vinegar, you can take care of such an infection easily.

You only need to dip a piece of cloth in a solution of ACV and plenty of water. But before use, you should consult with your vet because if her ears have any open wounds or any bleeding, the use of apple cider vinegar might worsen the state. Also, you should monitor your dog closely after every use. In case you notice that she is excessively scratching her ears, you should stop using the apple cider vinegar immediately.

4. Clears Any Yeast Infections
Malassezia primarily causes yeast infections on the skin or gut of your animal. The immune system of your pooch is always alert and keeps the numbers of this fungus in check. However, the stress in her immune system might at times be too much, and causing the fungus to overgrow.

In that case, you will need an additional treatment in order to reduce the numbers of the fungi. Yeast infection causes irritation of the skin, constant licking on the affected areas, smelly skin, foul-smelling discharge from the ears and head-shaking among other symptoms. All these symptoms will make your pooch really uncomfortable.

Fortunately, apple cider vinegar can get rid of the yeast infections completely after a few uses. But, as I keep on insisting, you should consult with your vet before choosing this type of remedy.

5. Eases Pain in the Joints
Apple cider vinegar is also a good home remedy for joint pains which are majorly caused by arthritis. Arthritis is a disease that is caused by deposition of calcium in the joints especially when your dog is getting older. These calcium deposits may cause stiffness as well as discomfort to your dog.

When your dog ingests apple cider vinegar, it will help her breakdown the calcium deposits hence relieving the pain and discomfort. If you add apple cider vinegar in your dog’s water, remember to measure one teaspoon for every 50 pounds of your dog’s weight.

More to that, always avail plain water next to the water with apple cider vinegar. That is because dogs may drink less water when it is mixed with ACV. The plain water will help prevent dehydration and ease the burning sensation from the ACV.

Precautions and How to Administer Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Dog
As you have figured by now, not all vinegars are good for your dog’s health. Don’t use any clear vinegar from the supermarket since they are considered ‘dead’. That means the vinegar doesn’t contain any enzymes and any other ingredients found in the raw apple cider vinegar. Therefore you might end up doing more harm than good to your dog.
The best vinegar is the raw apple cider vinegar. You can either use it to rinse your dog’s ears in case of an ear infection, spray where she sleeps to get rid of fleas or simply mix it in her drinking water to help with ingestion problems.

You can also mix the apple cider vinegar with honey if you plan on adding it in your dog’s drinking water in the bowl.

That way, she will take the water with much ease and heal any of her joint problems quickly. It is important to consult first with your vet so that you know whether of or not apple cider vinegar is safe for your dog.

Kyra pets