Warmer weather means more people will walk their pet dogs and head to parks and dog playgrounds. That means dog owners may have to think about revising their dogs vaccinations.
” If you’re heading to the pet park, the big thing to think about is contagious diseases,” stated Kara Amstutz with the Hometown Veterinary Clinic in Springfield, Missouri. Amstutz recommends dog owners receive vaccinations for rabies, distemper, parvo, bordetella, leptospirosis and canine flu because it’s so infectious.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection dogs can get through urine.
” If wildlife is in an area and the dog goes to sniff the grass or consume the grass they can actually ingest that bacteria,” explained Amstutz. “The issue with this specific bacteria is it’s actually transmittable to men and women and can cause a person to become very ill.”
Parasites can also be passed on through a dog’s bowel movements, which often times can also be spread to humans. The veterinarian said that’s one reason people must pick up after their dogs.
When questioned, Amstutz said there is very little parks can do to get the premises any cleaner; it’s in the hands of the pet owner.
She urged people to make sure their canines take an intestinal parasite dewormer, a flea and tick control medication, and a heartworm medication prior to joining any dog park, whether it’s required or not.
David Weddle at Wilson’s Creek Animal Hospital in Springfield, Missouri about the importance of hygiene in relation to pet toys.
Weddle said owners should never allow their dogs to chew on toys that are falling apart. Even if those materials are not harmful from a chemical perspective, they don’t need anything lodged inside the animal.
Secondly, Weddle warned people to be careful about things that are too hard for an animal because it can cause dental damage. He said a good test is the “knee test.” If you lightly tap your knee with a bone or toy and it hurts you, it’s probably too hard for the animal too.
Weddle said bacteria in an old toy can be a concern but that there’s a simple solution no matter what time of year.
” With regards to bacterial diseases, regular washing for a soft toy, run it through your washer with the linens and their bedding,” he stated. “For for the firmer toys, the rubber toys, washing in warm soapy water and rinsing thoroughly, we want to get all the soap off of there.”