Stow Kent Animal Hospital
4559 Kent Road Kent, OH 44240 330-673-0049

Portage Animal Clinic
4148 Ohio 43 Kent, OH 44240
330-673-7387

Are Dog Parks Right For My Dog?

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Annie here and I would like to talk to you about the topic on dog parks which is sometimes a controversial one…are they good, are they bad, are they unhealthy, are they dangerous? There are many dog parks that are opening up and they are growing in popularity amongst dog owners. We have a whole list of things to consider ensuring that your dog(s) has a safe visit to the dog park if you attend. There are risks and dangers to consider before attending but there can be benefits from dog parks such as socialization and lots of exercise. Consider visiting an array of different dog parks before attending with your dog. Pay attention to the safety and cleanliness of the park.

It is important to be sure that your dog is current on vaccines (yes, protection against kennel cough too) and that your dog is on proper parasite preventative. Preventative is very important because they will be around many other unfamiliar dogs, therefore your parents need to be responsible and take preventative measures to ensure your health and well being. Do not take puppies to dog parks until they are fully vaccinated!

Be sure that your pet has the appropriate personality to go to a dog park. Make sure that your pet doesn’t mind making new friends and being in groups of other dogs. Also, that it doesn’t mind being around all of the people at the park as well who may try to pet and befriend your dog.

It is also important that you can recall your dog and keep him/her away from dangerous or harmful situations if they arise. Be cognizant of other people and don’t let strangers feed your dog at the local parks. Consider slowly introducing your dog to the park. Keep your dog on a leash and let him/her investigate as he or she is safely by your side. If they act nervous, fearful, or want to leave then take the cues from your dog and consider that the park is not the place for them or they may require additional training and time.

Once you trust that your pet is comfortable and will enjoy the dog park then let them off the leash. Dog parks should have a double door system which is built for your pet’s safety. One set of doors should only be opened at a time to ensure that dogs will not escape the park. Make sure that your pets have proper identification with current information (and/or a microchip) to ensure that if they were to escape they can be reunited with you quickly and easily. Most parks have a designated small dog area of the park, for small dog’s safety. Be sure to take advantage of these areas and individuals with big dogs should be respectful and keep their large dogs out of this area.

If the dog parks have swimming holes then you should take clean water with you and encourage your pet to drink from the clean water source rather than the swimming water. On hot days make sure your pet has access to water, and has shady spots to relax and cool off. You may want to consider visiting parks in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler.

Don’t forget to clean up after your dog- pick up your poop! Be sure that you and your children in the park, wear your shoes and practice proper hygiene after cleaning up poop. Remember some intestinal parasites are zoonotic (transmitted between humans and animals) and therefore we want you to be safe too!

Lastly, be sure to keep your veterinarians phone number or an emergency hospitals number on hand in case of an emergency. We hope that you will never need it but it’s better to be prepared.

Dog parks have their risks but if you are a responsible dog owner and you have a social dog that enjoys the parks, then it can be a great place to socialize and receive a lot of exercise! Use your head, if you see a dog there that makes you or your dog uncomfortable or one that is bullying other dogs then consider staying away from those dogs or leaving the park all together. Go back when the park has a different variety of dogs. If the park is too crowded or busy then consider visiting another day.

Overall the benefits of your dog’s social well being outweigh the risks of going to the dog park. Exercise is a great benefit and can play a role in your pet’s longevity.

The take home message is make sure your pet is current on vaccinations and preventatives before attending, and also that your dog has the attitude and personality to enjoy the park. Be sure to introduce them slowly and weigh the cost and benefits to find out if it’s the right place for you before you attend. If you’re not sure then consult with your veterinarian, they know your dog well and they know their health status. So if you’re doubtful, ask.

Until next time,

Annie the lab with the help of Dr. Carlson

Stow Kent Animal Hospital

Portage Animal Clinic

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The Yellow Dog Project

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Annie here and I would like to tell you a little bit about The Yellow Dog Project which is growing in our area. The Yellow Dog Project is an international program that is informing and educating owners about dogs needing personal space. They may requiure space because they are healing from a surgery, do not like other dogs to approach them, do not like children, are in training, or have some reason in which they require personal space. It is important for individuals to understand the significance of the ribbon so that they respect the ribbon and give the dog it’s personal space.The dogs will have a yellow ribbon tied to the end of the leash closest to the dog this symbolizes that they require space, therefore you or your dog should not be allowed to approach the dog. Please continue to share this program with your friends and family so that they are aware and respect the ribbons at the veternarian, at pet stores, or in your neighborhood. Both of our locations are yellow dog friendly. If you need a yellow ribbon for you dog then please stop into one of our locations and pick one up today.

For more information please visit:

http://theyellowdogproject.com/The_Yellow_Dog_Project/Home.html
or
https://www.facebook.com/StowKentAnimalHospital?ref=hl#!/TheYellowDogProject?fref=ts

Until next time,
Annie the Lab
Stow Kent Animal Hospital
Portage Animal Clinic

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Know Your Enemy

flea-for-flea-blogAdult Flea

Floyd here and I would like to turn the floor over to my mom to tell you a little bit about one of the most annoying parasites that pet owners come into contact with.

You love your furry family member more than anything and you love to snuggle with them and spend time with them. While sitting with them, have you ever thought to yourself that you may have more than one pet living in your house? As you sit in the living room watching animal planet with your furry family member, there may be something lurking in you carpet, drapery, furniture, and on your pet waiting for its next blood meal. Hopefully understanding the life cycle will also help you better understand how preventative works.

Fleas are a nuisance and are often very difficult to get rid of. Have you ever wondered to yourself, why fleas are so hard to get rid of? Did you know that the adult fleas that you see on your pet only make up for 5% of the flea population? The other 95% are hiding silently in your home. Of the 95%; 10% are pupae, 35% are larvae or maggots, and 50% are the eggs. These forms of the fleas that hide silently include the eggs, maggots, and pupae. An adult flea can lay up to 40-50 eggs per day and over 5000 eggs over their lifetime (which is about on year). So you can image that they multiply rather quickly.

Fleas lay their eggs and in as little as a day those eggs hatch into maggots. These eggs are laid on the host and often roll off of the pet into the environment. These maggots or larvae are almost microscopic at the size 1-2mm. The maggots love to live in shaded areas or carpet and feed on dead insects, feces, and vegetable material. They love to eat the feces of the adult flea because it is digested blood from the adult flea’s recent blood meal. They then spin a silk cocoon and remain dormant anywhere from 1 week to a year. This part of the flea life cycle is virtually indestructible. There is nothing available that can kill it. The cocoon stays dormant until movement of a blood meal awakens it. This could be your pet or you walking across the carpet in your home or the vibration and warmth of the vacuum can also cause this. So just vacuuming your carpets can wake them up so that they can make more adult fleas and then in turn they can lay more eggs. An adult flea needs to feed before they are capable of reproduction.

Now here is the creepy part; fleas love to hitch a ride on us even though we are not the preferred host. And by this I mean that even if your pet is strictly indoors and never goes outside, the flea (no matter the part of the life cycle) can hitch a ride into the house on you. They then jump off of us and into the environment or your pet. Fleas do not prefer us as blood meals however they will feed on us if no other blood meal is available. Fleas are also creepy because some of them carry a part of the tapeworm life cycle. This means that if your pet ingests a flea that is carrying tapeworms, then they will get tapeworms. Fleas cause your pet to itch so when they bite at themselves, because they are itchy, they could potentially ingest a flea that is carrying the tapeworm in its gut. Thus causing another problem where your pet has several more pets (tapeworms) in its digestive tract.

In conclusion, fleas are very good at hiding, multiplying and where there is one flea there are many more. Like mentioned previously an important take home message is even a strictly indoor pet can have fleas. One form of the life cycle is indestructible (the pupae). So the best way to rid of the flea population totally is to keep your pet (and every other pet in the house) on monthly preventative. This helps to break all the stages of the life cycles by killing off all the adults as they hatch. Monthly preventative is especially important since the pupae can lay dormant for months. If you are on monthly preventative it doesn’t matter that the pupae hatch months to a year later because you’re pet will be protected all year round. If you think your pet has fleas please contact your veterinarian because fleas carry diseases (some of which can be contracted by humans) and cause skin infection and all kinds of other issues for your pet. There are many types of preventatives that can be used effectively monthly. The best preventatives are combination preventatives that not only protect your pet from fleas but also from heartworm disease. If you need a good monthly preventative please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian’s office.

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Stow Kent Animal Hospital

Mon. – Thurs. 7am to 9:30pm
Fri. & Sat. 7am to 6pm
Sun. Closed
Call for emergency instruction
Sundays and after hours.

Portage Animal Clinic

Mon. – Thurs. 8am to 7pm
Fri. & Sat. 8am to 6pm
Sun. Closed
Call for emergency instruction
Sundays and after hours.