Caring For Your Dog-Helpful Tips

Follow these tips and advice to help keep your dog happy and healthy.

Have your dog vaccinated against rabies.

Don’t let your dog roam around without a leash. This endangers your dog and increases the chances of getting hit by a car or hurt by another animal. On your property make sure your dog is secured and cannot escape or roam around the neighborhood.

Have your dog wear a collar and attach ID tags with your contact information on it in case your dog does get loose or lost. Consider installing a microchip.

Make sure your dog is getting the proper nutrition and water. Don’t under or over feed. Your dogs eating habits and nutritional needs will change as they age so make sure you make the proper adjustments. Puppies need more feedings throughout the day than a one year old dog. A one year old and older only require one meal a day. Larger dogs sometimes bloat so break up their meals into two smaller ones if that is the case.

Take your dog to a Vet for checkups and the proper advice on feeding, grooming, rabies, flea & tick treatments, etc.

Give your Pet enough exercise, they need it also. It will burn calories, stimulate their minds, avoid boredom and helps to prevent destructive behavior. Walks and play time with toys is a great way to bond with your dog and keep the both of you healthy.

Keep your dog clean and brush to help prevent shedding. Use grooming time to check for abnormalities on their skin or body.

When carrying dogs never pick them up by the back of their neck, tail or legs. Always place your hands under the chest and rump, support from underneath.

Most of these things are common sense but we need to be reminded to do these things. All of these tips are important and should not be put off or forgotten. Our dogs are animals but when it comes to their health and well being we need to treat them as if they were our child.

Tips to Deliver Better Health to Dogs

Dogs are common pets that are kept at home. People can buy different breeds of dogs from market. Puppies soon become an important part of the family for owners. But, owners get lots of responsibilities to follow up and deliver better health. A special lifestyle needs to be followed by owners to deliver better health dogs. This is because exercise, good food, and medical checkup are essential to maintain health of the dogs. It is an important part of the lifestyle for the owner to maintain health of the dogs immediately. Among them, quality food is the most important thing required by the dogs in getting good health. Let us look at the important tips to maintain health of dogs by owners.

pets and their care

Rise of Dog Treats in Market

Dog is the best pet friend for the people around the world. It is the most common pet reared at home. Steady rise of dog population has increased the demands for the treats. Since people have become busy and can’t prepare foods for dogs, they totally depend upon commercial treats. To meet the rising demands of treats, numerous companies are manufacturing treats for the dogs. But, maintaining quality of treats remains a distant dream for many manufacturers in the market.

Health Threats in Commercial Products

Rise of demands of dog foods have led to boost of manufacturing dog treats in market. But, ingredients used in manufacturing dog’s treats are really pathetic due to presence of harmful chemicals. Low quality ingredients are being used in manufacturing the treats to gain more profit. Ingredients like excess salt, glycerin, soy, fillers, by-products, and others are really harmful for the dogs. These ingredients are real health threats for dogs after feeding for a long time. This is why owners need to be cautious in selecting the right treats and should be done after looking at ingredient label. Selecting the right treats help in delivering a better health to dogs.

Importance of Organic Treats

Some commercial products aren’t good for health of dogs. This is nutrition experts for dogs are recommending the use of organic treats after buying from market. The organic treats are mainly made from natural ingredients that are usually grown without using chemicals. Apart from that, treats shouldn’t contain harmful ingredients that can cause health problems later in life. Vitalife has become an important brand of providing organic treats for dogs. The treats are made from the natural and simple ingredients that are grown organically in Thailand. The main ingredients used in treats are chicken fillet, duck fillet, beefs, and sweet potatoes. The ingredients are oven treated to maintain natural nutrients and other qualities for dogs.

Lifestyle tips for Good Health

It is essential to consult an expert for a customized lifestyle according to age, breed and health condition. Regular physical and mental exercises help dogs to remain happy and engaged. Regular medical checkup and vaccination helps in creating a protective cover against lethal diseases. Dogs demand love and care from owners and need to be given. Vitalife products need to be a part of the daily diet and special changes in the lifestyle for good health. Buy special quality products from this portal at affordable price of the market now.


Natural Dog food is much healtier.

tips to take care of your pets

Animals Turn to Nature for Self-Medication

Scientists still aren’t sure if this theory, known as zoopharmacognosy, is correct, but believers in the practice are convinced that humans can learn a thing or two from these animals – specifically, in terms of finding new medications.

“Much of folk medicine, particularly in the undeveloped world, likely came from medicine men watching animals self-medicate,” lead author Joel Shurkin wrote in the journal PNAS.

Mother Nature’s Pharmacy

Many animal species, from birds, bees and lizards to elephants and chimpanzees, have turned to nature as their own personal kind of pharmacy. They self-medicate using the environment’s own ingredients to prevent disease, kill parasites, bacteria and viruses, or to simply aid in digestion.

For instance, seeing a dog munch on grass is nothing you haven’t seen before, and an owner’s first instinct may be to snatch away these greens to prevent their dog from getting sick. But according to Shurkin, that’s exactly the point. Supposedly domestic dogs, and even cats, seek out the plant in order to relieve a stomach ache and expel whatever it is that’s bothering them.

“Dogs do not have the means to digest grass, as they lack the enzymes needed to break down the fibers,” Vancouver-based vet Dr. Michael Goldberg explained in the magazine Modern Dog. “Thus, there is little nutritional value in it for them. One reason for eating grass may be due to a feeling of nausea.”

Elsewhere, chimpanzees have been observed swallowing leaves whole, using their rough sandpaper-like texture to remove parasites. More than 200 species of birds have also been seen rubbing themselves with ants to kill feather lice, a behavior known as anting. Ants that spray formic acid can kill off feather lice and protect the birds from infection.

Animals Turn to Nature for Self-Medication

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By Jenna Iacurci Dec 11, 2014 02:48 PM EST dog It seems that animals, such as dogs, elephants and chimps, are turning to Mother Nature for means of self-medication by seeking out drugs to treat their own ailments, new research suggests. (Photo : Flickr: smerikal)

It’s not uncommon for humans who just visited the doctor to want to seek out a second opinion, some of them turning to self-medication for the answer. But now new research shows that this may apply to animals like dogs, elephants and chimps as well, who seek out drugs on their own to relieve certain ailments.

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Scientists still aren’t sure if this theory, known as zoopharmacognosy, is correct, but believers in the practice are convinced that humans can learn a thing or two from these animals – specifically, in terms of finding new medications.

Dog Collar Tips & Advice

Most of us put a collar on our dogs without putting much thought into buying it other than its color or style. After its on the Dog we don’t even think twice about it. There are many factors that need to go into your collar buying decision other than looks or color, these two things should be the last items on the list. Follow these tips and thoughts next time you are going to buy a collar for your dog. Also follow some of this advice now for the collar that is currently on your Dog. Don’t think your Dog needs a collar? How are you going to attach his ID, license, medical and contact information in case he gets away?

So its time for a new collar, what kind to get? A nylon, leather, head collar, chain or a choke collar. It depends on your needs and what you are going to use it for. If its just for walking or wearing then a standard nylon or leather one is the best way to go.

A normal collar is needed for everyday walking and wearing, so what size to get? The normal rule of thumb says you should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar. It should not be so tight to choke your dog or too loose where they can slip out of it.

Measuring length: Measure around your Dog’s neck using a cloth measuring tape positioned where the collar sits on the neck. The width of the collar can be smaller and more proportional to your dog’s size. 1″ for larger dogs, 3/4″ for medium dogs and 1/2″ or smaller for small or toy dogs.

A flat collar or a Martingale Collar? A flat collar is the standard collar for Dogs. It has a buckle or a plastic, quick release closure with a metal ring for attaching your leash, ID tags, etc. They are usually made of nylon or leather. Most breeds can wear a flat collar. A Martingale collar is designed for dogs with narrow heads such as Greyhounds. Its designed so a narrow head dog cannot slip and back out of his collar. If you don’t have a narrow head breed and he is slipping out of his collar its probably because the collar is not the right size or fitted properly.

Do you want a head, choke or chain (pinching) collar because your Dog pulls a lot and you want to control them? Its OK to buy these but only for training purposes, they should not be used for normal everyday walking and wearing. These types of collars, in addition to the Electronic Training Collars, should be used for training purposes only and not walking. They put too much of a strain on your Dog for everyday or all day use and are not designed for that purpose.

Electronic Training Collars are for training purposes only. They should not be worn for everyday walking or all day use.
Flea and tick collars are worn in addition to a regular collar, do not attempt to hook a leash around one of these. They contain chemicals to help protect your dog against fleas and ticks.

Flea and Tick collars are usually effective for a short time and need to be replaced regularly.

Follow these Dog Collar tips and advice to make sure that your Dog is fitted and wearing the appropriate collar. Doing this is not only a comfort situation for your Dog but also a safety one. Lets keep our Dog a Smiley one.

How to Lessen Hairballs for Your Cat

Every cat owner is well familiar with the ‘horking’ sound that their cat makes every week or two that results in a compact hair sausage being deposited on the floor. Owners generally become fairly blasé after cleaning up a few hairballs, but you should also be aware of how they form, how to prevent them from developing as frequently, and the complications that can arise.

Unlike most dogs who will take a lick of two at their paws and consider that they have groomed enough, cats are grooming dynamos. Even tiny kittens will start grooming at a very early age and this continues throughout the life of the cat.

The tongue of a cat is covered with little hooks which easily pick up dead and loose hairs when the cat licks herself. Cats spend a considerable amount of time during the day cleaning, so the opportunity of collecting hair is great. The hair that is taken up by the tongue is inevitably swallowed and enters the digestive system. The greater portion of the swallowed hair passes harmlessly through the stomach and intestines and is deposited in the litter box. However, some always remains and will develop into a hairball in time.
Other than being disgusting, most hairballs cause no problems at all for your cat. Unfortunately, sometimes a hairball blockage can occur in the stomach or intestines – at times a mega-hairball will form in the stomach that takes up the entire space of the organ.

There are clues that will tell you that your friend may be having problems with a hairball:

• You cat may become constipated – normal passage of stool will be prevented by the hairballs.

• Conversely, your cat may have diarrhea as the intestinal irritation from the hairballs causes food to pass too quickly through the system.

• Cats with blockage have no energy and will simply lie around.

• If your cat attempts to vomit (dry heaves), but is unable to bring anything up, the hairball may be too large to expel in the normal way.

• Appetite will fall off dramatically when blockage occurs.

• A large hairball can press against the lungs, causing the cat to wheeze and cough.

At this point, you will have to consult your vet to have him or her resolve the hairball problem. The first step will be palpation of the cat’s abdomen, followed by an x-ray. If a large hairball is present anywhere in the gastrointestinal system, surgery must be done to remove it. This can be very expensive so owners should make every effort to prevent hairballs from forming in the first place.
It would be completely unrealistic to suppose that you can prevent your cat from swallowing hair at all, but there are some things that you can do to help keep hairball problems at a minimum.

Brush your cat. Not surprisingly, long haired cats are much more likely to develop problem hairballs than short haired ones. However, a daily brushing of your cat will help remove most of the loose hairs before they do begin to form a ball. Starting this when your cat is young is a good idea not only to help prevent hairballs, but also to provide a nice time for you and your cat to interact together. After the brushing session is complete, run a damp cloth over the fur to pick up any stray hairs. Brushing will be very important if your cat undergoes an annual shedding.

Some cats are more dedicated to grooming than others, and these super-groomers are more likely to develop hairball problems. You can help to keep the cat’s tongue in his or her mouth by providing a new toy or two and by playing with the cat – both of you will probably have a great time.

Oral lubricants are available at pet supply stores or through your vet. These help keep matter moving through the digestive tract more quickly and getting the hair out of the system will prevent the formation of hairballs.

Fiber rich cat foods have been found to be valuable at preventing hairballs. As with any new food, however, introduce it slowly to prevent any stomach upsets.

Cats can pick up human hair from the floor when they groom, and this can be a problem especially if the humans in the house have long hair – it will go down right along with the cat hair. Regular vacuuming can help keep these hairs out of your cat’s insides.

And lastly, don’t let your cat become obese; fat cats are more likely to be constipated, which slows down the normal passage of matter through the intestines and contributing to hairball accretion.

Safety in Homes With Dogs and Children

While it is true that most dogs are strongly attracted in a positive way to children, the truth is that a good relationship between kids and dogs is something that rarely comes about without some work. Most children who are bitten by dogs are bitten by the family pet, and while it might be easy to blame the pup, it is actually primarily the fault of the adults who have not provided the leadership and guidance that both dogs and children need.

Small children, especially, have no concept that they might be abusing the dog when they pull on its ears or poke their finger into its eyes. Babies have a grasping instinct that could lead them to inadvertently pinch the dog. Some breeds, including breeds like French and English Bulldogs, and English Mastiffs will tolerate just about any punishment that comes their way from a child, but other breeds will not be so patient.

The adults in the household should teach the children the proper way to behave with a dog, and even babies can be taught (through positive reinforcement) that they should not ever pull or pinch your pet. Any striking of the dog by a child is totally unacceptable, and this sort of behavior should never be tolerated. Small dogs are often looked upon as toys by children who are too young to really understand that the dog is a living being.

Because of the possibility of harm being done to either, it is best not to leave a child under the age of 7 or 8 alone with a dog. Parents should never leave a baby or toddler alone with the dog, even for a few minutes.

It is quite true that children need to learn the proper way to behave with dogs, but your pup must also learn that even the smallest baby is above them in ‘rank’. A dog that believes that it is superior to a human member of the home will simply be more likely to bite than one that views humans as superior. Use positive reinforcement as much as possible when accustoming your pet to its household status, but time out in a crate or correction with a sharp word may also be necessary. A pup that has received obedience training is much less likely to cause problems than one that has not.

In order to prevent problems arising when a new baby is brought into the home, make the dog a part of the preparations. Dogs are just as likely to become jealous as an older child will be when a baby arrives if they are deprived of the attention they have previously been getting. After the baby is born, have the father bring home a blanket or article of clothing the baby has been wearing to let your pet become familiar with the baby’s scent. Let the dog be part of baby care by keeping it close while feeding, bathing, and changing the baby. And, once again, do not ever leave the baby alone with the dog.

Children will often make a beeline to a dog when they see one outside. However, a strange dog is an unknown factor and kids should be taught never to approach a dog they do not know. They should always ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog.

Teach children that a growl means ‘No’ in dog language and to back off if any dog growls at them. Likewise, if a dog rushes at them, they should never run – it will make them into prey. It’s best to stay where they are, lower their eyes, and slowly back away.

Taking a bit of time and effort to train both dogs and children in a home can mean that there will be less likelihood of conflict between them.

The Art of Catching a Dog on the Run

There was a time when dogs simply wandered and meandered the streets without so much as a second look from the populous and owners assumed that, sooner or later, the dogs would come home. Not so today due in large to a more diligent dog culture and increased compliance with leash laws, a majority of our best four-legged friends are safe behind fences or inside our homes when they cannot be supervised. Now, when we see a dog on the loose, our first assumption is that he has escaped or has been dumped and is lost. Naturally, our first instinct is to try to catch the dog before he wanders into traffic or another life-threatening scenario.

Just like us, dogs have different personalities and a gregarious, well-adjusted dog is easy to catch; they just amble up to you with their tail wagging. But other dogs may be timid, insecure, reactive and under-socialized and the experience of being out in the wide world can be disorienting and terrifying, making catching a panicked dog something of an art. You need to know what will soothe and what will spook him, what precise move you need to make and when to make it, therefore, the following are some dos and don’ts for catching a dog on the run and bringing him back safe and sound, which applies to both of you:

• Don’t grab. Instinct takes over when trying to capture a dog on the loose with undesirable results. Don’t make sudden moves or try to immobilize a loose dog by clutching him to your chest and don’t lunge at a frightened, lost dog as he may bite.

• Don’t chase the dog. Our biological programming tells us to run after what we want but the problem here is, the dog will outrun you, sometimes directly into the path of danger. If you see a dog wandering in traffic, don’t jump out of your car. Turn on your flashers and follow the dog as best you can without disturbing the flow of traffic. Whenever it is safe, pull over and call the highway patrol to assist in stopping and/or slowing traffic.

• Don’t talk. Once again, our natural instinct, when we see a loose dog, is to slap our leg encouragingly and send an auditory signal that we are happy to see him and would like to get closer. A loose dog is flooded with adrenaline and is very reactive, causing him to associate these actions as something frightening and overwhelming making him bolt when he hears them, even from his owner.

• Use calming signals such as yawning, using your peripheral vision, and blinking (not direct stares), and oblique approaches such as moving from the side, not head on. Avoid moving toward him in a direct line, standing rigidly straight and staring at him, as you will be mimicking a predator.

• Go low and slow; get down to the dog’s level and be extremely patient. It may take hours of sitting motionless before a lost dog decides to come over to check you out. You can drop to the ground and fake indifference or lay flat with some food on your stomach and watch the dog from your peripheral vision – do not stare.

• Get a “Magnet Dog” to ride shotgun. Sometimes a lost dog is so suspicious of humans that you need the assistance of a friendly, playful, gregarious dog to entice the lost dog to come closer. Large dogs can be boisterous and hard to handle as the lost dog comes near so look for a reliable dog-friendly toy or medium-sized breed as your magnet. Keep your body angled away from the lost dog so you are not facing him head on and yawn or blink. This will, hopefully, make you fade into the background, giving tunnel vision to the skittish dog, causing him to focus on your magnet dog, not you.

• Don’t be unprepared. Always carry a leash in your car and some treats. When waiting for a lost dog to approach, keep the leash inconspicuous but handy. This way, you can put it on quickly should you capture the dog before either of you panic.

• Don’t assume the worst. Once the lost dog has been captured, think “lost”, not “stray” as some dogs are dumped, but not as many as you think. The condition of the dog is often not indicative of how it was treated. If the dog is emaciated and in poor condition, it could be that he has been on the loose for a month or more and not the product of an abusive environment. If the dog is skittish or reactive, don’t assume he has been abused. More likely than not this is just the dog’s temperament and Mother Nature is to blame, not his owner.

• Do go to the shelter with a captured lost dog even if you are reluctant to do so out of fear the dog will be euthanized. If you don’t leave the dog there, keep in mind that the local animal control facility will be one of the first places an owner will check for his lost companion so leave information where the lost dog can be located.

Many shelters have equipment used for scanning dogs for implanted microchips which will give you the information needed to return a frightened lost dog safely home to his very worried owner.

A Guide To Selecting Freshwater Tropical Fish

The days are gone when the only fish you would see in someone’s fish tank would be a goldfish. Now you are able to find a large number of various species to choose from and a individual store will frequently have no less than ten various types of fish to pick from.

Tropical fish are very desirable because of their vivid looks and ranges of behaviour. The freshwater variety is straight forward to look after since they require only tap water, providing that the temperature and acidity of the water are very carefully monitored. Below is just a small assortment of the broad variety of freshwater tropical fish species that can be purchased.


Betta fish are very popular and fairly simple to look after. Many novice fish owners start with Betta fish due to this.

Male Betta fish can be very aggressive and must be segregated. Male and female fish will also fight. Two females can be kept together, however it is necessary to still give them plenty of tank room or fights will happen.

Betta are also easy to feed. They’re carnivorous but can tolerate a broad assortment of foods, such as blood worms, brine shrimp. This allows you to experiment and find over time which foods your fish prefers.


Cichlids are obtainable in an array of diverse shapes and sizes. They’re actually a family of fishes and you will find as many as three thousand different varieties altogether. One of the most well-liked kind of Cichlid is the angelfish – which can be recognised from its distinctive triangular fin shape.

Many of the Cichlids types are reasonably simple to maintain, feed and breed. Depending on the species of Cichlids, they can be omnivorous, carnivorous or herbivorous.


Discus fish, are a member of the Cichlid family, and are notorious for being especially hard to keep. They cannot tolerate unfavorable conditions well, so it is essential to maintain an eagle eye on water temperature, acidity and cleanliness of the fish tank.

They’re a group fish and generally reside happily with other fish. Prior to adding more Discus fish to an existing collection, they must be quarantined in an additional tank first, in case they introduce illness.

Discus fish can be very fussy eaters. Finding out what and how frequently to feed them is important. They are carnivorous and will eat both live and frozen blood worms and brine.


As well known bottom-feeders, catfish are great for keeping an aquarium clean. Some aquarium owners struggle against algae but many catfish types will feed on this and assist in controlling this problem.

Most other fish tolerate catfish nicely, and do not view them as a threat to their territory. Catfish are therefore best added to aquariums with other species of fish rather than being put inside a fish tank by themselves.

You will find numerous catfish species available and it is best to choose one that suits what you’re looking for, for instance, some don’t eat much plant material and some are much more territorial than others.

Choosing a Dog That Fits Your Lifestyle

Other than serious behavioral problems, such as aggression, the reason most dogs wind up in shelters is because their owners find out that they have just chosen the wrong dog for the way they live. Dogs have evolved with humans over the course of thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years, and as they shared our homes and lives, they have been bred to fill specific roles.

Besides the innate personality of the breed, there is also the dog’s adult size to take into consideration. That fluffy little St. Bernard puppy that fits so well on your lap now could grow into a 200 pound giant in over a year. If your house or apartment is simply not big enough, at some point your dog is going to outgrow its living space.

Regardless of the breed, all dogs require some exercise during the day. While some breeds can have their exercise requirements met with indoor play or a short walk, other breeds will need to run every day to satisfy their energy demands. Another thing to consider is the grooming needs of the dog; some dogs have a carefree coat that requires no maintenance to keep it looking good, while others (especially those with long hair) will need intensive grooming to keep the coat free from tangles, debris, and external parasites.
If you are unfamiliar with dog breeds in general, and are considering adding a puppy or dog to your life, do some research not only into the different breeds. You also need to determine why you want a dog, and how much time you will have to spend with the dog. Always keep in mind that nearly all dog breeds will want to interact with their humans – dogs have emotional needs, too.

If you are looking for a lapdog or companion, choosing a smaller breed is often a good idea, but make sure you understand the different energy level of different breeds. Jack Russell terriers and Westies are small dogs, but they require enormous amounts of exercise, otherwise they can develop personality problems. Breeds such as French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Japanese Chins, and Papillons are all excellent choices as well, although all of these dogs will need a lot of attention from their owners.

Hunting dogs combine great personality with the high energy needed for hunting. Those who enjoy taking to the field and woods during hunting season will want to focus on such dogs as Labrador or Golden retrievers or one of the spaniels, such as English or Cocker Spaniels. A laid back hunting dog that works well even in an apartment is the Clumber Spaniel. Vizslas and pointer breeds also are a good choice for hunters. Remember that these breeds will still need plenty of exercise outside of hunting season so be sure to take them for walks or runs daily.

Many people are worried about home security and will use a dog to guard the home. In one respect, nearly every dog breed is a guard dog, but some breeds are more protective than others. When you looking for a guard dog, you should look for a breed that will be easy to train, passive with the family, and have a defensive rather than an aggressive nature. Dogs like English Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs, and Schnauzers are good with members of the family, but do not possess the hair-trigger attacking instincts of dogs like Dobermans, Pit Bulls, and German Shepherds.

Flock guardian dogs are often important to those who live in rural areas and keep livestock. These dogs tend to be more aloof with people than other breeds and tend to concentrate their attention, and affection, on the sheep or cattle they guard. These dogs can be difficult to train as they have been bred to think independently and are best employed in more isolated situations where they will not have to interact with people.

Being a responsible dog owner isn’t restricted to how your dog gets along with other people and animals, it also means that you have chosen a dog that you will be able to take care of properly and that will be able to live out its life with you in comfort and dignity.

How Ticks Can Impact Your Dog’s Health

There is basically no region of the country that can be considered free of tick borne diseases. These diseases can have a serious impact on your dog’s life, and being aware that they exist can help you detect symptoms early and get treatment when it will be most effective.

Ticks are active during the entire year in winter-free regions and will appear in colder areas as soon as the ground thaws. Never assume it’s too early or too cold to find ticks on your dog. Our Pip even got one from somewhere when there was 2 feet of snow on the ground. Check your dog over after every outing, even if it’s only been to the backyard. Catching ticks before they attach to the pet is much easier than prying them off later.
Most people probably think that ticks are insects, but they are actually a member of the spider family. An adult tick has 8 lets, just like a spider, and feeds on the blood of living animals. However, while spiders will form egg cases for reproduction, the female tick itself sometimes forms the egg case – in some tick species, the eggs mature inside the swollen body of the female, which eventually bursts to release hundreds of tick nymphs, while other species simply lay the eggs on the ground. These tiny ticks have only 6 legs and generally feed on smaller animals like mice and shrews until they mature.

Ticks feed by inserting their mouthparts into the flesh of their host and drawing blood out. An anticoagulant is used to keep the food supply flowing, and the bite itself causes extreme irritation including itching and oozing of clear liquid.

Removing ticks from your dog safely is important because they can either leave mouthparts in the skin or regurgitate into victim, opening the possibility of more infective agents entering the dog’s body. Use fine tweezers or a special tick removing tool to grab the tick as closely to the skin as possible, and use a slow, but steady motion to draw the tick out. From personal experience, I have found that swollen female ticks will inevitably leave their mouthparts in the skin regardless of how careful I have been, raising the chance of infection.

The types of ticks most dogs and people encounter are the dog or wood tick and the deer tick. There are actually about 90 species of ticks found in the United States, although some have a very limited geographic range.

Tick borne diseases can cause serious illness in dogs, as we found out with our French Bulldogs several years ago. The first to become ill, Iris, was taken to the vet the first day her symptoms of limping and lethargy appeared. A blood test revealed that she had both Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis. Although she was on the appropriate antibiotic, she lost the use of all 4 legs in 3 days, and was unable to even drink on her own; we had to use a syringe. She ate nothing for over a week until the medicine finally kicked in. She was literally reduced to a loose bag of bones. Primmy and Pip also became ill, but not to as great an extent, and all the dogs recovered after a month of antibiotic treatment.

Ehrlichiosis is also called tracker dog disease and is a legacy of the Vietnam War. Returning dogs used by the military were infected with Ehrlichiosis, and it causes symptoms such as joint pain, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unless treated, long term damage can occur to the heart and joints.

Lyme disease causes many of the same symptoms as Ehrlichiosis, and the antibiotic used to treat it, doxycycline, is also the same.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is even more serious a disease than the above two, and can be fatal if untreated. Symptoms, again are similar to tracker dog disease and Lyme, but can include skin lesions and cough. Heart attacks can also occur. In addition to doxycycline, tetracycline can also be used to treat it.

Anaplasmosis is yet another serious tick borne disease and this time the infective agents target either the white blood cells or the platelets. This disease causes muscular pain, fever, general malaise, coughing, and diarrhea. Doxycycline is the medicine of choice to cure the dog.

Babesiosis is caused by a tiny parasite, and this one attacks the red blood cells. Anemia is one obvious result as well as red urine, lethargy, fever, and weakness. Unfortunately, treatment for this disease is more complicated than for the others, and often involves a combination of drug therapies combined with blood transfusions in extreme cases.

There are a number of products on the market that are applied to the dog’s back that will either kill ticks on contact or hopefully before they are able to infect the dog. Flea and tick collars also offer protection.

Carefully checking your dog after he or she has been outside is also a good way to prevent these diseases. Ticks often wander around for quite a while before settling in for a meal, and disease transmission depends on how long the tick has been attached – it usually takes about 72 hours before enough pathogens enter the system to do harm. You should check with your vet with any concerns or questions regarding tick borne illnesses in your pet.