Lately, I've seen a number of pets in my office who -- having lived most of their lives inside -- are suddenly being transitioned to the outdoors.
Here are a few factors to consider if you find yourself needing to change your pet's quarters from inside the house to the backyard.
-- Stay Consistent with Flea and Tick Medicine It's not uncommon for people whose pets live inside to get a little lax in keeping up with monthly flea and tick medicine. Some pet owners think that, since they have not seen any fleas and ticks, they do not need to use the medication. But if your pets are not currently being treated with a preventative, they will be highly susceptible to fleas and ticks if you should ever try to move them outside. So make sure you administer a flea and tick medicine to your pets before you make any changes that will expose them to the elements. -- Don't Risk It: Heartworm Prevention Along with flea and tick prevention, people with inside pets may also not be giving heartworm preventatives to their pets every month. I recommend that pets stay on heartworm medicine all year round, even inside pets. If an inside pet suddenly spends more time outside, but is behind on her heartworm preventative, she can easily get heartworm disease. And the treatment for heartworms is lengthy and difficult, and not always successful. So don't let up on heartworm prevention. It's not worth the risk. -- Build Up The Heat or Cold Tolerance Indoor pets are accustomed to the ideal temperatures that we enjoy in our homes. However, when these pets are suddenly forced outside and they experience extreme temperatures, these pets can face some serious issues. They can suffer from heat stress, or become dangerously cold. To get your pet used to the changes in temperature in a healthy and safe manner, slowly acclimate him to outdoor temperatures when necessary. Start your pet with short periods of outdoor time. Then gradually increase his length of exposure. -- Adjust Food and Water Portions Adjusting how much food and water you give to your pet is important when she starts spending more time outside. Owners get accustomed to doling out a certain amount of food and water for their indoor pets. But when you make the switch to the outdoors, especially when the temperature is cold, you have to increase the amount of food you give to your pet. She will need more calories to keep her body temperature normal. And when it is very warm, she will drink significantly more water if left outside. So make sure to adjust her nutrition accordingly.
Diligence in these areas will make the indoor-outdoor transition much easier on your pets and will help you avoid some potentially serious health problems for your four-legged friends.View Thread
I am sorry that you have been having some much trouble but it sounds like you are on the right course. It can take time to figure out what is causing the itching. I am very happy that she is doing better.View Thread
Many of us may remember that the family dog of our childhood always lived outside. But upon becoming a pet owner yourself, deciding whether to house your dog inside or outside can be difficult. If you're trying to make this decision, ask yourself these questions first:
1. What is my breed? Many breeds can live outside without much of a problem, while others should really only live inside. Labs, Retrievers, and most other sporting or hunting breeds can live outdoors without trouble. They can adjust to weather changes and are more active dogs. Their coats are usually easy to maintain and do not become matted. Other breeds won't adapt so well. Some good examples would be a Japanese Chin or a Bulldog. These dogs were really bred to live indoors, and not to spend much time outside. I understand that there are exceptional dogs within every breed. But as a pet owner, you really must consider the type of breed you own to determine if he can make it outdoors.
2. How much property do I have? If you have a very small backyard and cannot provide a safe environment for your dog, then she most likely should spend time indoors as well as outdoors. A safe outdoor space is a large fenced-in area that your dog cannot climb of out, and which no one can climb into, including other dogs or your neighbor's kids. Also, the area should: - Have good drainage - Be accessible to you for picking up the stools and cleaning - Provide your pet with shade and cover from the elements
3. What effect could my decision have on my standing in the neighborhood? If you have a large pen and you keep your dog outside all the time, you may get kicked out of the neighborhood supper club. If you live in an urban area with lots of neighbors and your dog barks all night, it might not be the best idea to keep your dog outside all the time. Many dogs that sleep inside will usually settle down and won't hear as many noises at which they will bark.
4. Is my dog well-socialized? Socialization plays a big factor in deciding whether your dog should live inside or out. Many dogs that live totally outside are not as well socialized as inside dogs. Because pet owners usually spend less time with their outdoor dogs, they can be more aggressive and they might bite or exhibit other behavioral problems once they are in the company of people and other animals.
5. Am I prepared to protect my dog from parasites? If your dog lives outside all the time, her risk of heartworms, fleas, and ticks is higher. Proper control of these parasites is critically important for making sure your pet stays healthy.
Have you been faced with this decision for your own dogs? Aside from the ones above, what other factors did you consider?View Thread
Ear mites are tiny microscopic parasites that resemble ticks. They can barely be seen with the naked eye and are usually found when the vet examines your pet's earwax with a microscope. Ear mites can cause severe itch and they produce a black discharge in the ears.
Ear mites live off the wax and secretions of your pet's skin. It takes about three weeks for them to develop and mature into adult mites. And they can survive upwards of two months, living most of their lives in the ear canal. Although some will migrate outward on to the face and neck area of your pet.
Ear mites can be transmitted from pet to pet through direct contact. If your pet has developed a case of ear mites, she most likely got them from another pet that she came in contact with.
Although they are very irritating, ear mites normally cause only local irritation problems. So an infested pet will normally shake his head, scratch his ears, and dig at his ears. If the mites have migrated out to the skin, your pet may scratch and dig at his face.
The good news about ear mites is that there are many treatments available to get rid of them. Some medications require pet owners to use them for three weeks, while others require only ten days. There are even some single dose treatments for ear mites. Whichever treatment you and your veterinarian decide is best, make sure you use it correctly. Also remember that, if you have multiple pets, you will need to treat them all to make sure you get rid of the ear mites for good.
In instances where the treatment doesn't seem to work, consider the following steps: 1. Make sure your pet truly has ear mites, and not another infection with similar symptoms, such as a yeast or bacterial infection. 2. Make sure all the wax is removed from your pet's ears. Ear mites can survive in the ear wax if it is not removed. 3. Be sure to treat all the pets in your home at the same time. Although you may clear the infection in one pet, if another pet is infested, the cured pet could easily become re-infested. 4. Speak with your vet to consider trying a different kind of treatment.
Has your pet ever been affected by ear mites? What symptoms did he/ she show? How did you address the infestation? Share your experience with the Community.View Thread
Sometimes the fleas can start the itching but it may have progressed into either a bacterial infection on his feet or a yeast infection. Both will cause them to continue to itch. Have your veterinarian take a look and get you the right medication to help with either the yeast or bacteria.View Thread
It can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to know for sure if the food is making a difference. Also remember you have to cut out all other sources of food including treats. Any little bit of food with grains in it can throw your food trial off.
Have your vet check the feet for yeast or bacteria. Your dog might need to clear the secondary infections as well as working on the allergy.View Thread
I've seen pet owners make a number or mistakes when dealing with fleas and ticks on their pets. For instance:
1. After spotting fleas or a tick, some owners panic and buy all the protective products they can, and then use them on their pet all at once! Exposure to a mix of products can cause your pet to have a reaction. The solution: instead of panicking, call your veterinarian and find out which single product is best for your furry friend.
2. People sometimes make the mistake of visiting other people's homes when their own pets have fleas -- nothing like the gift of fleas between friends!
3. Sometimes pet owners see fleas or ticks on one pet, and they only treat the pet on which they were spotted. If your dog has fleas or ticks, don't forget to inspect and treat your cat for them, too. While you're killing the fleas or removing a tick from your dog, your cat may be bringing in a whole new batch of parasites from outside. So be sure to treat all the pets in your household when you notice a problem.
4. While the internet can be a great place to look for information, some of the content you find could be misleading. For instance, I've seen tips about using motor oil on pets to kill fleas and ticks! And a couple of times every year, I'll see a very greasy dog in my office -- who still has fleas. Motor oil is not a solution for fleas, and can actually do some harm to your pet. It's OK to start online when looking for answers. But remember to use your veterinarian as the final resource for what treatments are best for your pets.View Thread
Got fleas in your home? That's easy to fix. Just move.
No. Just kidding.
But controlling fleas in your environment can be difficult and typically involves a few steps.
Step 1: Treat your pet for fleas -- and flea eggs -- continually. Put flea product on all your pets regularly, for several months in a row. I know this sounds simple, but these products will kill adult fleas so that they cannot lay any more eggs. You also want to continue with the treatment for many months in a row, so that any new fleas that hatch on your pet or in your environment will be killed, as well. Check with your veterinarian about which product will work best for your pet. There may be certain products that are safer to use, depending on your pet's health.
Step 2: Treat all your pets. If you only treat one of your pets, fleas can survive on the pets that have not been treated. Fleas have been around for a long time. So obviously they know how to beat the odds. As you can imagine, unless you treat all of your pets at once, the fleas can re-infest, and it will be extremely difficult to ever completely clear them from your environment.
Step 3: Treat your house. Clean and wash all beddings or furniture where your pets sleep or spend lots of time. Live fleas drop their eggs in and around where your pets live. So if your pet spends a lot of time on her bed, make sure you wash that entire area. You will also need to clean and vacuum your house, paying special attention to the nooks and crannies under the couch or beneath the tables. Fleas like to lay their eggs in cool, dark places. So clean carefully in those areas. But use caution. There are many products available to help kill flea eggs. And before you use any of them, make sure they are approved by the EPA and that you're following the directions properly.
Step 4: Treat your yard. Treating the inside of your home is important for getting rid of fleas. But you have to also treat the areas where the fleas live outside. Mowing tall grass and clearing out yard debris is a great way to start. Fleas like to live in moist, darker areas, like under brush, trees, and in crawl spaces. So start with those areas. Many people also treat their yards as well as their fence lines. Again, use an EPA-approved product. And read and follow the directions closely.
Step 5: Continue treatment after you stop seeing fleas. Many times, pet owners will see that the fleas have been cleared with the above steps. So they may stop using the treatment. But then the fleas come back!
Remember, fleas have been around for a long time, so they are crafty! You have to keep up the preventative treatments for months after you've spotted your last live flea in order to prevent them from coming back. So remain vigilant and assume that fleas are out there even if you don't see them.
With persistence, you and your pets can emerge victorious.View Thread