healthcare

DogWatch's Thanksgiving Feast for Fido Recipe Card

Thanksgiving Feast for Fido: What to Share and What to Avoid

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and folks around the country are preparing for their annual feast to be shared with family and loved ones. Of course, your dog is included among your loved ones. Should he be included in the meal as well?

While we don’t suggest saving a spot at the table for Fido, there are a number of Thanksgiving foods that you can share with your furry family member. Dog Tails has compiled a list of good and bad Thanksgiving foods for dogs, to help you put together that special bowl for your pup. These tips will also help you keep an eye out for dangerous foods that dogs should NOT eat on Thanksgiving (or any other day). Pay attention to ingredients, keep servings of the “good” people foods small, and don’t leave the food or trash unattended – these are some of the steps to making this a safe and healthy Thanksgiving for your dog!
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dog at vet getting vaccinated

Facts About Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus made the news in DogWatch’s home state of Massachusetts in September, when an outbreak of the virus killed 15 dogs in the city of Lowell and infected hundreds more throughout the state. Outbreaks of the virus were also reported recently in Indiana and New Jersey. Parvovirus (parvo for short) is a very contagious infection that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. It is often fatal, especially to young dogs, but it is also easily preventable. Here are some facts about parvo, and some tips to protect your dog from the virus.
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Dogue de Bordeaux puppy itching

How to Get Rid of Your Dog’s Fleas – and Keep Them Away!

Fleas. Even saying the word makes us itch. These tiny creatures can make your pet miserable, and in turn make you miserable. Plus, once they latch on to your pet and make a home in your house, they are very hard to get rid of. Bottom line, fleas are a pain. Here are some tips to help you avoid this pain and avoid flea infestations in the future.
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How to Avoid Getting "Tick"ed Off This Spring and Summer

Tick on leafIt’s that time of year again, folks; the time of year that dog owners the world over dread. That’s right, it’s flea and tick season.  To help you out, here’s our primer on how to protect your pets from the most dangerous of those two bloodsucking baddies: the tick. To learn more about the tick’s menacing counterpart, the flea, check out September’s blog post, found here.

There are four types of tick that are prevalent in North America: the Deer tick, the Brown Dog tick, the Western Black-Legged tick, and the American Dog tick (also known as the Wood tick), with the two Dog ticks being the most common. All of these ticks have been known to spread potentially fatal diseases in dogs and cats, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Canine Ehrlichiosis, and Canine Anaplasmosis, but tend to be less dangerous to humans (with the exception of the Deer tick, which can spread Lyme disease).

So how do you recognize these mini-menaces? Members of the arachnid family, like spiders or scorpions, ticks have four pairs of legs, can have a hard or soft shell, and are usually a shade of reddish-brown. They can be especially hard to notice or discover due to their incredibly small size; most ticks are roughly one-eighth of an inch long prior to feeding! After feeding, ticks can balloon up to half an inch long. Click here for a snapshot of common ticks and the diseases they can carry.

While found most frequently in wooded areas, ticks can lurk in the grass, shrubs, or other foliage in your lawn as well, so it’s best to employ as many preventive measures as possible to keep your pets safe. First and foremost would be utilizing a topical flea-and-tick medication like Frontline® Plus, Revolution®, or K9Advantix®, which can be purchased at your vet or at most local pet stores. One important thing to note when using a topical treatment: do NOT bathe your pet for at least two days, at the risk of washing the medication off. Lyme disease vaccines are also available for dogs, and can be administered by your vet.

Another good preventive measure is to trim any tall grass, bushes, and shrubs that could provide a shelter for ticks. Foliage and vegetation should be as close to the ground as possible. There are also some EPA-approved insecticides available that can be applied under shrubs and bushes and in other crevices where ticks are likely to hide. Don’t worry about spraying your grass; ticks prefer shaded, protected habitats, so those should be your focus. Read post »