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20 Fun Dog Facts We Bet You Didn't Know.

20 Fun Dog Facts We Bet You Didn't Know. 0

Dog's may simply seem to be dog's best friend, here to be loved on and keep us company, yet there are so many interesting facts that revolve around them and their history. We've compiled a few of our favorite dog facts to keep you entertained for just a bit.  

1. Your dog can smell actually smell how you're feeling, allowing them to sense when you're scared, upset, or not feeling well. This is primarily because dog's possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to the six million-ish that us humans have. The part of your dog's brain is also dedicated to analyzing smells,is also about 40 times larger than ours. Thus when you're scared or sick and perspire, your dog knows!

2. Dogs can actually sense time! Although it's been said over and over that your dog can't tell how long you've been gone whether its 5 minutes or 5 hours, well that's just plain not true! When conditioned, your pet perceives time by knowing when they receive regular walks and meal times. 

3. Your dogs nose is wet primarily because it aids their sense of smell and helps absorb scent chemicals. Dog’s also sweat through their noses and their paws, helping them stay cool. Dog's also lick their noses a lot primarily because they often use their nose to sniff around and can sample the smell by tonguing their nose. 

5. Ever notice how your dog is very particular about their poo spot? There's a reason for that and it's not because your dog feels more comfortable in one position over another. Dog's actually relieve themselves in alignment with earth's magnetic field, a study found. The study suggests that dogs are sensitive to small variations in Earth’s magnetic field. There was no determination as to why our dog's sense or do this but it certainly is an interesting fact. 

6. The world's oldest recorded dog breed in existence is the Saluki. They appeared in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and their remains were found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C. 

7. Man's connection with a dog is a real thing. When petting a dog and staring into their eyes, the human body releases a chemical called oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone'. This occurs not only in you but also in your dog! 

8. Have you seen your pupper curl up into a precious little ball sometimes to sleep? It may appear that they're forming the shape of a fetus but it's actually an instinctual method to keep warm and protect their vital organs from predators while they rest. 

9. Did you know that your dog is as smart as a two year old?! They can understand about 250 words and gestures just like a two year old can. No wonder young kids get along so well with the family pet, they speak the same language!

10. Dogs are dreamers too! More than likely you've seen your pet twitching or running in place in their sleep. This is because dogs have the same type of slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) as humans. Dogs are dreaming in the REM stage and that's when they exhibit the funny little twitches and jerks. Puppies and senior dogs are more prone to dreaming than adult dogs. 

11. Ever caught your dog's eye in a dark room and seen a glowing red or green orb peering back at you? Or every time you attempt a photo with your pet and their eyes are always lit up? That's because dog's have a light-reflecting surface known as the tapetum lucidum, that acts like a mirror to reflect light, allowing them to see better in low light. The specific color of the glow varies by animal and the amount of zinc or riboflavin present in pigment cells within the tapetum lucidum.

12. Our doggies run hot. The average body temperature for dog's is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit for us humans. 

13. Dog's possess a third eyelid, also called the 'haw' or 'nictitating membrane'. It acts as a windshield wiper for your pet's cornea, removing any debris or mucus from it. It also is responsible for producing about 1/3rd of your pet's tears helping to keep their eye moist and protected. 

14. Dog's aren't stuck in a 1940's sitcom, they can see colors beyond black and white and in fact, that's a myth. It's actually believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray. That's why it can be helpful to get bright red and pink toys for your dog so they'll stand out! 

15. Notice how your dog uses their ears to express what they're feeling or thinking? That's because they have 18 powerful ear muscles allowing for a wide range of movement. 

16. Some of our furry friends have a habit of kicking their legs behind them after using the restroom. Some have hypothesized this is to hide their smell from predators but it's quite the opposite. Our pet's do this to further spread their scent and mark their territory. The scent glands on their paws allow them to do this. 

17. When it comes to flavor, you might not want to trust your dogs opinion. Dog's possess about 1,706 taste buds whereas we have about 9,000. That's about 6x less the flavor receptors. Get this, cats only have 470!

18. A dog's nose print is completely unique, just like the human finger print. 

19. Yawning is contagious, even for dogs! Research has shown that the sound of a yawn can trigger one for your dog, and it's 4 times as likely to happen if they know the person yawning. 

20. Having a dog can actually help support your heart health. Studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-owners, more than likely due to their pets having a calming effect on them, and because they tend to get more exercise.  

5 Topics Your Vet Wishes You Would Ask About

5 Topics Your Vet Wishes You Would Ask About 0

Our vet's do a lot for us automatically - prescribing necessary vaccinations and medications, evaluating our pet's weight and oral health, and giving general tips and advise for overall positive pet health. But there are certain topics that your vet would like the opportunity to give more information on, if we were to only ask. These aren't your average pet parent topics but things that should still be prioritized when considering your pet's conventional health. We've compiled a list of subjects that can be helpful to bring up with your vet. They'll thank you for it, trust us. 

1. Daily Dental Care

It may feel like we do so much for our pets already but the one area we definitely can't fall off, is our pet's teeth and dental health. For both cat's and dog's alike, periodontal disease is one of the major causes of serious health concerns. Most pet parents image that trying to regularly brush your pet's teeth would be a nightmare but it doesn't have to be that way!

We recommend trying Waggles Pet Breath Spray, this makes it easy to simply apply to your pet's gum line or spray directly into their water bowl. Our naturally derived ingredients make it perfect for pets with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Waggles Pet Breath Spray reduces tartar and plaque, freshens breaths, improves gums, and what's best is there's no brushing involved! Now you can have the peace of mind of knowing your on top of your pet's preventative oral care and you can skip the messy brushing session. 

Ensuring your pet has pet-safe toys and treats to chew on everyday is another helpful effort for keeping up with regular dental care. Ask your vet! They can tell you about the importance of dental care and give you the scary facts for if you aren't. 

2. Preventing Obesity 

Weight is never a comfortable subject, even when it's concerning your pet but it's a vital aspect of your pet's overall health, nonetheless. Being overweight can put your pet at risk for multiple health problems such as cardiovascular disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. By keeping your pet a healthy wet reduces your pet's risk of acquiring health problems. 

Ways that you can help maintain a healthy weight for your pet is by controlling their portion size during feeding times, and including daily physical activities which can serve not only as exercise but as a way for you and your pet to bond. By asking your vet about obesity within cats and dogs, they can provide you with helpful tips and info about how your pet's system works to burn fat, what exercise is best for your pet, and lay out feeding guidelines and food types for your pet to try as well.

 

3. What Food Is Best Is For Your Pet

This is probably the number one question constantly facing pet owners, and yet so many of us doing think to ask our pets more information about creating your pets diet. Your vet has learned every stage of development for animals, so I think they know a thing or two about what kind of food is best for your pet, at what time. Of course there are some general food facts that vets are governed by too. 

For pet's, you can be sure that highly processed, grain and meal by-product heavy foods are not good for them. Low quality Gastrointestinal, skin, immune system and metabolic diseases and abnormalities, including cancer, can be correlated to these unnecessary food ingredients. We understand the convenience of dried kibble but there are other alternatives that are just easy but boast actual nutritional value and won't jeopardize the health of your fur babies. 

What is recommended is a pet food made with human-grade, whole-food ingredients that undergo minimal processing. You can transition your pet to this diet by beginning to blend it in with their regular food, with small portions at first until they fully transition to the new food. This can take between 7 - 11 days normally. Here at Waggles, we suggest SMACK Raw Dehydrated Pet Food. It offers the convenience of kibble with all of the necessary nutrients your pet needs, without any of the filler, processing, or additives! 

4. Holistic Health Care

You may associate going to the vet with high medical bills or medication prices but if you were to ask your vet, they would likely recommend a number of at-home, holistic and natural treatments to help your pet. Don't get me wrong - if your pet is dealing with a serious health issue, it's likely that the medical veterinary option will be best. Nonetheless, your vet can recommend alternatives so your pet's don't become reliant on medication or have to suffer uncomfortable side-effects. 

Ways to minimize your pet's med intake, your vet might recommend a few of the following. 

  • Pet-proof your home, make it as pet-safe as possible. 
  • Introduce probiotics and nutraceuticals to your pet's diet. This includes omega fatty acids, joint support products, antioxidants, etc.
  • Maintaining a lean body score with a healthy diet and exercise.
  • Providing human-grade, whole-food based diets rich in non-processed nutrients
  • Pursuing physical rehabilitation, such as massage, stretching, and range of motion, and acupuncture treatments. 

5. Why & When To Vaccinate

When our pet's are puppies and kittens, they have a line-up of medicines and vaccinations that they have to receive automatically but it's our job as parents to keep up with any other vaccinations that they may require or that become available to them. It's also wise to know what your pet's vaccinations do, and why you don't want to over vaccinate your pet or vaccinate them when they're unhealthy. Vaccinating a pet when they're unhealthy can pose huge health risks to them. Even a single vaccine can elicit an allergic reaction, immune system diseases,  inflammatory response, organ system failure, seizure activity, coma and death. 

By asking your vet what exactly the function of each of your pet's vaccinations is, they will likely give an outpouring of information about how best to vaccinate and treat your pet. 

In Conclusion

Vet's aren't scary people, even if our pet's act like they are. They're here to help us, and even more important, they're here to help our pets. By consulting more openly with your veterinarian about any and all topics that may come to mind, you're only benefiting yourself and your pet. By knowing more about the ins and outs of your pet's overall health, you can actually avoid more vet trips in the future. Spending time to talk about important health topics with your vet serves you and your pet for a long time. 

Top Tips To Keeping Your Kitty Fit

Top Tips To Keeping Your Kitty Fit 0

We do a lot for our pets. We ensure they're fed everyday, they they receive the appropriate heart worm, tick, and flea prevention, and we make sure they're well hydrated and clean. Another vital responsibility for us pet owners though, is making sure that your pet is also receiving proper exercise and maintaining a fit physique. We understand that it's definitely trickier to make sure your cat is exercising regularly compared to dogs who are ready to run around just about whenever.

So we've devised a health checklist to make sure your cat is staying in top physical condition and provided some tips for getting them up and at 'em in case they're looking a little on the chunky side. 

 

Cat Body Types

Thin 

  • If you can see your cat's pelvic and hip bones protruding. 
  • Your cat is extremely bony or weak.
  • Looking down over your cat, you can see they have an extremely narrow waste. 
  • There is a pronounced tuck of their fur and stomach in the abdomen area. 

Underweight 

  • You can see their ribs and spine.
  • Their waist is tapered and thin still.
  • Slight tuck upwards in the abdomen area. 
  • Lean and skinny in appearanc

Ideal

  • You can feel your cat's bones but they aren't visible.
  • Their waist is muscular and not thin.
  • Raised abdomen, no sagging. 
  • Overall healthy and muscular body.

Overweight

  • Bones hidden under fat and it takes effort to feel them. 
  • Full waist and sagging stomach and abdomen. 
  • Appearing shorter and stout. 

Obese 

  • Very chubby body with multiple rolls.
  • Rolls of fat around the neck, face, and waist. 
  • Distended, saggy abdomen.
  • Bulky and round appearance. 

Your Cat's Health Checklist 

 Vaccinations Up to Date

One of the most vital thing's you can do for your cat's health is to make sure they have been full vaccinated. Your kitty should be vaccinated against rabies, immunodeficiency viruses, feline leukemia, and more. Your cat should also be on heartworm, tick, and flea medications to prevent contractible diseases and worm infestations. If you’re unsure whether your cat is/was properly vaccinated, contact a vet.

 Proper Diet and Weight

Your cat shouldn’t have a saggy belly nor should their ribs be clearly visible through their skin. Your cat’s body should be firm and fleshed, but not too skinny or overweight. When looking down on your cat from above, she should have an “hourglass” shape. There is no perfect weight for a cat, but if yours rapidly drops or puts on weight, there could be something wrong and you should contact your vet. 

 Heart Rate

Like breathing, your cat’s heart rate is unique to her body; it might change a bit with a new exercise regimen or even with age. Cats’ hearts beat fast – about 140-200 beats per minute.

 Clean, Healthy Teeth

You may not be able to readily tell whether your cat’s teeth are healthy. As long as she’s eating and behaving normally and regularly visiting the vet for checkups, her teeth are probably fine. If you notice terribly bad breath, trouble chewing, or visibly broken or cracked teeth, call the vet.

 Mites, Fleas, and Ticks

Your cat should be free of any parasites! Visible fleas, ticks, mites, or other bugs are cause for concern and necessitate a call to the vet. Signs of an infestation include dandruff, shaking of the head/scratching of the ears, and red welts on the skin or bald patches in her fur.

 Eye & Ear Health

Your cat’s eyes should be clear and free of any discharge. If you notice bloodshot eyes or a “third eyelid” (a white film over the eyeballs), be sure to contact the vet for a checkup. Your cat’s ears should be clean, with no wax, dirt or discharge. They should also appear quick and alert, to catch sounds. Don't go digging around though, any in-depth ear checks should be performed by your vet.

 Healthy Fur

Healthy cat fur is thick and shiny, free of any unexplained bald spots. Cats shed regularly, especially in the spring and fall seasons, but excessive shedding might be a sign of disease. Your cat’s coat should be clean and well groomed. Check for parasites, bald patches, sores, scabs, or otherwise unusual spots regularly.

 Behavior and Behavioral Changes

All of our cats are different! Healthy cats can be sleepy, energetic, aloof, clingy…just like people, all cats have different personalities. Major behavioral changes can be sign of illness though. Look for things like a suddenly-lethargic cat, a cat that becomes ravenous overnight, etc. 

Tips To Keeping Your Cat Active & Fit

Food Quality

Food is a major preventative health measure for your pet, meaning food quality is as important as quantity when feeding your cat. Cat's are carnivores, their systems are designed for processing high protein, low to no carb diets. Feeding them the proper nutrients they need will go a long way for their energy levels, digestion, and weight.  Feeding a cat solely dry food and processed treats contributes to their weight gain. We recommend feeding your cat SMACK Raw Dehydrated Cat Food.  Made with 100% human-grade ingredients, GMO and grain free, this recipe is designed for sustaining our furry friends. It can be served as kibble, add water and serve it as soft food, or feed it as treats or toppings. 

Designate Time For Play

It is a common misconception that cats are generally distant and detached. As with any other pet, the more affection you give to your cat, the more responsive they will be and the more willing to play and socialize they'll be next time. Cats also tend to respond better to repeated behavior and routines. What does this mean?  Taking the time to play a little bit with your cat everyday will benefit the both of you, boredom is a cat's worst enemy after all. This way they'll become accustomed to playing with you regularly! 

Switch Up Your Toy Collection

Just like us humans, cat's and pet's in general become easily bored with items they may have found fascinating just a few hours before. Work with your cat's desire to hunt, prowl and chase by finding fun toys and games you can incorporate in your play time. Electronic mice, laser pointers, wand and fishing pole type toys are usually big hits for keeping your cat moving. Of course we always recommend supplying your cat's with solid climbing fixtures, this is great aerobic exercise for your cat and let's be honest - cat's just love to climb stuff. 

 

 

7 Ways You May Be Stressing Out Your Pet

7 Ways You May Be Stressing Out Your Pet 0

Every now and then, we've had a long day at work and our pet's just won't relax! They're running all around the house or won't be quiet when all you want to do is chill, and can sometimes up adding unnecessary stress to our lives.

Now, don't get me wrong, our pet's are in every single way worth that stress. They provide so much joy and activity to our lives, I think us humans can handle a little stress here and there, but did you know that you could also be stressing out your pet? Even when it's involuntary, some behaviors can lead to your pet feeling anxious which can in turn affect their own behavior and your relationship with them. We've identified a few noted actions that can induce apprehension in your cat or dog. 

Ways You May Be Stressing Your Cat 

Only Using The Kennel For Visits To The Vet

Whether your cat is an indoor cat or outdoor cat, let's be honest, we don't use our cat carriers or kennels very often to take our cat's to places. There aren't cat parks, or a cat beach, and they simply aren't that type of creature and that's okay.

Despite this, we still have to familiarize our kitties with certain spaces so that they don't associate the kennel with experiences they don't like, such as visiting the vet or groomer. You want to make your cat's kennel a safe, comfortable place that the cat is free to go in and out of when it's not in use so that they grow to know it independently of the experiences attached to it. 

Relying On Punishment For Training 

From venturing through our site, you can probably tell that we aren't very into scolding your cat or dog, even when training them as a kitten or puppy. It isn't an effective method of communication for humans most of the time, why would it be for your pets? Yelling at and punishing your cat will only serve to scar them. Your cat likely won't be able to link their bad behavior to your punishing them and your anger will only appear random. This can cause your cat to become confused and act out over things that seem normal. 

Instead try replacing the bad behavior or action with a good one repeatedly until they begin to understand. You can also try reinforcing good behaviors with positive reactions. 

Pretending To Scare Your Cat

We've all seen the Instagram and YouTube videos that circulate of people playing tricks on their cats to get an animated reaction out of them. While they may seem funny in the moment, they're like terrifying their poor cats. Repeatedly scaring your cat can lead to odd behavior such as constant wariness and skittishness. They can begin to become uncomfortable venturing into familiar rooms and even more so into new places.

If you scare your cat in a place they're comfortable or an area where they regularly eat or sleep, may lead to them avoiding those areas and not eating or sleeping altogether which can leave to grave health concerns. 

Ways You May Be Stressing Out Your Dog

Training Your Dog Inconsistently 

Whether you adopted your pet a little later in their life or have raised your puppy from those big baby paws up, consistency is key. If you change the routines or boundaries you've established for your pet often, they're likely to get confused and not be able to tell a good behavior from a bad one. This can lead to you feeling stressed which also makes them feel stressed. 

We suggest clearly structuring your system with your pet for things like when they meet someone new, when they are going to go outside for a walk, when they get to interact with other animals. Providing them with uniform actions that they perform every time, and clues to indicate that what they're doing is correct each time is vital for making a stress-free, easy-going doggy. 

Improperly Rewarding Your Pet

We realize this sort of ties right back into training but since we know you'll be giving your dog treats for life, we thought this might be a helpful tip, too. When your pet does something requires them to behave well for a long time and exercise a lot of self-restraint, that should be hugely rewarded! You wouldn't go crazy after get a C on a math test like you would if you were to get an A+, so you should recognize your dog in the same manner. Big actions of good behavior deserve bigger treats and rewards. 

How does this lead to stress you might ask? It makes it so they don't understand when they've done something good, verses when they've done something supremely good. It does nothing to nurture and support that supremely good behavior, which is something you want to do. That and it's confusing for your pet, especially when they've shown a great amount of self restraint for you. 

Never delay giving a treat to your pet either, this way they can directly see the line from their behavior to the treat they got for it. 

Pointing or Shaking Your Finger At Them

It's been said that this gesture is a “universal stress inducer for dogs.” Commonly blended with an angry gesture or tone, and a hovering stance. Your pet almost certainly won't be ale to identify what they did to deserve the finger point/shake but whenever they see it they'll know to feel anxious and afraid, something we want to avoid! 

Instead, get on their level and speak in a low, commanding voice 'no', to whatever bad behavior they're pursuing and replace it with something positive. 

Not Giving Them Enough Exercise 

Dogs are hugely active creatures, and depending on their breed, may require a lot of aerobic and cardio activity to ensure they remain healthy. Like humans, your dog requires mental and physical stimulation otherwise they get bored. Bored dogs have a higher tendency to act up, and be destructive which can lead to unnecessary punishment, which can lead to stress for you both. 

Pet's aren't capable of binge-watching their favorite new show or hitting the stair-climber at the gym, they rely on you to stay active, fit, and healthy. Introducing more activity into an idle pets routine can help reduce stress and improve health in a major way! 

If you've learned of ways to help avoid causing stress for your pet, feel free to shoot us an email. We love hearing from you! 

 

Commonly Missed Aches & Pains That Could Be Bothering Your Cat.

Commonly Missed Aches & Pains That Could Be Bothering Your Cat. 0

As we all know, cat's are truly majestic, enchanting creatures that lead mildly mysterious lives, even when it's predominantly in your house. That's why it can be challenging sometimes to pin down if they're acting strangely, as if they're in pain, or if they're just in a snooty kitty kind of mood. These independent and fiercely unique animals have their own tells for when they may be attempting to communicate something. Here's a line-up of a few moves cat's make to indicate that something could be amiss. 

1. My Cat Is Limping Or Dragging a Limb 

When we silly humans are favoring a limb over another, it's usually because we've injured a bone, sprained something, or pulled a muscle or set of muscles. When we see this behavior in our cat's, it's easy for us to assume they're suffering from the same thing when often that's wrong. If your cat is limping or favoring a paw or leg over another, it's usually a sign that your cat his been bitten by another cat. 

More common in cat's that commonly go outside part of the time, cat's that are limping usually have suffered injury from another cat, or a dog in some cases. Another symptom you may discover is that area becoming swollen and leaking fluid. Your vet will likely diagnose this, clip the fur around the area and clean it before draining the abscess and closing it. Your pet may receive antibiotics as a part of their treatment. 

Another instance where your cat is dragging a limb but not overtly in pain is when they have an ingrown toenail. Ouch! This is more common for older cats and cats that live primarily indoors. If you see that your cat is walking tentatively or avoiding use of one or more of their paws, an ingrown toenail can often be the culprit. To avoid this, simply keep on top of your toenail clipping practice. 

2. My Cat Is Straining In Their Litter Box

Does your cat look overly uncomfortable when they're using their litter box, or are they spending a substantial amount of time trying to go to the bathroom? This could be a sign that your cat is suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection or Blockage. This is more common in male cats and can be absurdly painful for them. Another symptom your cat may exhibit when they have a UTI is loud meowing or screeching when you attempt to touch their bellies or sides. 

This is definitely an ailment that is harder for your pet to hide and if you notice these signs you should take your cat to your vet immediately. Your pet may require anesthesia and meds following removal of the blockage. 

Another issue to watch out for that is in the same vein is feline idiopathic cystitis. This is an inflammation of the bladder that is known to cause major discomfort for our cats. Symptoms include frequent and random urination throughout the area they're in, and straining to urinate in their litter boxes. 

3. My Cat Is Overly Squinty Or Teary

If your cat is giving you a lot more cute winks than usual or their eyes appear teary, goopy, or have more discharge than usual - it's safe to assume they either have an corneal lesion or ulcer within their eye. This can cause a lot of discomfort and pain for your cat. Can you image something constantly feeling like it's stuck in your eye? Ugh! No thank you! 

To nip this issue in the bud, it's best to seek veterinary assistance so if it is a simple lesion it can be mended so it won't lead to further infection or damage. If your cat has an ulcer, they may need surgical repair if necessary but the majority of the time it can be avoided. 

4. My Cat Is Chattering Their Jaws

This is one of the most common symptoms that cat owners misconstrue for cute and benign behavior. Although it is still super cute, it can still be a sign that something may be amiss within your cat's mouth. This could be your cat telling you they have painful lesions running along their gum-line that feel like deeply rooted cavities. 

In this case, it's time to get some x-rays to the see the extent of the lesions, in some cases some teeth my need extraction. In some cases though, your cat may very well just be funny and chattering their jaws - but it's definitely something to get checked out just in case. 

5. My Kitty Has Consistently Awful Breath 

If your cat has been suffering from really potent, bad breath from some time and you've picked up on a few other changes in behavior such as a lack of appetite, weight loss, drooling and lethargy, then your cat could be suffering from Stomatitis. 

This is a hugely painful inflammation of the gums and oral tissue, especially surrounding the molars. This makes it hard for your pet to eat, groom themselves, and even open their mouths fully at times. If your cat has contracted stomatitis they will likely require an extensive cleaning and a few dental extractions but once mended, they can be perfectly okay.

We recommend investing in a pet breath spray to routinely spray on their gum line or add to their water. This is a huge preventative measure for your cats health.  Pet breath spray can help them avoid a number of health issues in the future and protect them from ailments throughout the day. 

In Conclusion

I desperately wish I could chat back and forth with my cat, there would be a lot of gossip but it would definitely help in knowing how they're feeling. Instead, we just have to learn their language and pick up on the signs they send us. We'll be back with more cool tips on how to read your kitty right. If you've seen any smart indicators from your cat, feel free to send us a message! We love hearing from you! 

The 5 Most Common Parasites That Effect Your Dog

The 5 Most Common Parasites That Effect Your Dog 0

Occasionally, we all get sick and since we are all so different, some of us are more susceptible to certain infections and viruses, than others. The same goes for your dogs! It's helpful to know what parasites can have a stronger, more dangerous effect for your pet as well as knowing the pesky, less serious ones. 

Here are the top 5 most wide-spread parasites that can effect your pup's health.

1. Hookworms 
These nasty little buggers more commonly occur in dogs than in cats. They attach themselves to the lining of the small intestine and feed there on the creatures blood. Dogs, and especially puppies can contract hookworms easily and in a number of ways - in utero, from contact with feces contaminated with hookworm, or from ingesting hookworm eggs by accident.

Puppies are the most at risk when infested by hookworms but if untreated, adults can also suffer from fever and coughing if it has been allowed to move to their lungs. Humans can also contract hookworms and they'll usually react with a skin rash. 

Signs that your puppers may have contracted hookwarms could be lethargy and being overly tired, lack of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, and blood in their feces. 

2. Roundworms
Roundworms can effect both cats and dogs and do so by latching onto the animal's intestinal tract. In fact, kittens and puppies have both been found to be born with roundworm larva in their systems already. This can be cause they can contract from their mother in utero. They can also contract them through their mother's milk or by interacting with infected feces. 

You can often see roundworms with the naked eye in your pet's feces or vomit. Human's can also contract roundworms and they can create a rash on the skin, and can also cause damage to the nervous system, liver, and eyes. 

Signs that your pet may have roundworms is a stunting in their growth if it's at a young age, diarrhea and vomiting. 

3. Whipworms
These are like hookworms in that they are more often found in dogs than in cats. These parasites are harder to detect as they usually live within your dog's large intestine and release much fewer eggs in a given time. The symptoms that your pet may have contracted whipworms don't usually appear until much later and they more infested. These dogs will show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, and mucus-covered stool. 

This can be a common ailment for kennel or shelter dogs and is unlikely to be transferred to your pet outside of these areas. 

4. Tapeworms
Tapeworms are normally contracted by ingesting something that is carrying a tapeworm egg, usually a large flea. Signs that your pet is suffering from a tapeworm can be tricky to identify. Gradual weight loss, or over-eating with no signs of weight gain can be symptoms as well as general itchiness around their bottom area and scooting on the carpet to relieve it. Occasionally dogs will also developed a distended abdomen too. 

Tapeworms are much more rare in humans and overall are had to pass along. To get rid of tapeworms your vet will likely administer medication by injection or orally. These meds are super effective but to keep your pet healthy against tapeworms it's best to keep your pet flea-free and away from dead or rotten animals, food, or garbage. 


5. Giardia
This is an example of a non-worm but instead a protozoan parasite that lives within your dog's intestinal tract. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy although sometimes an affected pet may not show any symptoms at all. It's commonly spread by drinking water that contains feces as these parasites thrive in cool and moist places.

This is a good reason to be wary of sharing dog bowls at community dog parks. We recommend using a portable water bowl filter for your pet whenever traveling with your pet or when attending dog parks. This guarantees that your pet will be safe from any contaminated feces or particles that could cause them to be sick. If diagnosed, your pet will likely be prescribed medicine for the bet and will be scheduled a follow-up fecal examination. It may be wise to wash your dog on the final day of their medication to ensure there are no hidden parasites in and around their fur. 

 

Now that you know the basic bad guys, you can keep an eye out for your pet and help prevent them from attracting any bugs that could potentially make them sick. As much as we hate being sick, your pet certainly does too!