Our whole world as we know it has been turned upside down and these are challenging times for all of us. There are so many unknowns in relation to COVID-19 and this has an affect on us and our animals.
We can’t forget our fur babies in these times and whilst we are at home we are gaining comfort by being with them and I am sure our pets just love us being at home with them too.
This is a good time to call family, friends and neighbours to see if they have a plan for their pet if they did get sick or for you to make plans for your beloved animals should you fall ill. In times like this it is great for communities to come together and help one another.
At the time of writing this there has been no findings that dogs can get COVID-19 but we still have to be vigilant in ours and their hygiene as it could be as simple as someone handling your dog’s lead or patting your dog that could transmit the virus to you.
We have many questions during this crisis about our pets so let’s look at some of those concerns.
Can My Dog Get COVID-19?
According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), No your dog cannot contract the human COVID-19. Dogs can contract their own species related coronavirus, but this is known as CCoV and is a highly infectious intestinal infection in dogs only. Coronavirus is from the Coronaviridae family and gets its name from when viewed under a microscope the virus looks like a coronet. There are various types of coronavirus which effect different species of animals and humans but CCoV is not the same as COVID-19 and we cannot contract CCoV either. CCoV causes gastrointestinal issues in dogs and COVID-19 causes respiratory issues in humans.
What Is Canine Coronavirus - CCoV
CCoV is an intestinal infection in dogs only. Most cases of canine coronavirus are contracted by being in contact with an infected dog, oral contact with infected faeces, eating from a contaminated bowl, crowding or unsanitary conditions. The incubation period is 1 -4 days and the normal duration of the virus is around 2-10 days. Dogs can also be carriers of the virus for up to 6 months after infection.
Typical signs of CCoV are diarrhea, lethargy and decreased appetite. Your dog’s poop may be very soft/loose and may contain blood and mucous with an unpleasant smell. It may have an orange colour to it.
There is no real treatment for canine coronavirus and antibiotics are not effective with viruses, but they still can control any secondary bacterial infections that may develop.
With diarrhea can come dehydration so upon the severity of your dog’s condition he/she may need IV fluids. Withhold food whilst diarrhea is present and slowly reintroduce small amounts of food gradually.
If you suspect your dog has a gastrointestinal issue and it goes on for 24 hours, please get to your Vet as soon as possible as early Veterinary intervention will be advantageous for their recovery.
Can My Dog Transmit COVID-19?
COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching infected surfaces and then we touch our own face which transmits the disease to us. If an infected person coughed on your dog and the virus particles sat on your dog’s coat, then yes, it’s possible that the virus could be transmitted to someone that came along and patted your dog or touched their lead or collar if those particles are on them. The risk is low, but you should still remain vigilant and always wash your hands after patting an unknown dog and be aware of who is touching your pet. Wiping your fur baby down with a wet cloth or giving he/she a bath if they have been handled by unknown people would be a good idea. The same if you are bringing a new pet into your home.
Can My Dog Still Go The Vet During This Crisis?
Veterinary services are still considered as essential businesses and they are following very strict government protocols to ensure that their staff and clients are safe. Before you go for your appointment please call ahead to check what protocols are in place as you may be asked to stay in your car or drive to a particular drop off point, limit the amount of people you bring with your dog to the appointment and their social distancing rules.
K9 Swim Hydrotherapy is a Veterinary Referral Centre and we are ensuring that our staff and clients adhere to the social distancing guidelines and we follow very strict hygiene protocols by the government recommendations. There is only 1 dog at a time during sessions and the dog enters in one door and out another, so no one is crossing over. Sanitizing takes place after each session.
K9 Swim are asking:
We at K9 Swim are endeavouring to continue our services to your pooches, especially those that are in the middle of rehabilitation programs or needing to start. We thank you for all of your ongoing support and understanding that we have had to make so many changes to comply with the government rulings which certainly benefit the safety of you and the K9 Swim team and your beloved dogs.
Stay positive and practise good hygiene measures and most importantly look after yourselves.
The Australian bush fires have been devastating and this crisis continues as fires are still ablaze around our country. Hazardous thick smoke has blanketed many areas of Australia and this can have disastrous effects on us as well as our pets.
Older pets, young pets and any pet with a cardiovascular, respiratory condition or other medical issues are at high risk from smoke inhalation from the pollution in the air. It can affect their airways and breathing ability and may cause many health complications from the toxic haze that pollutes the air. The healthiest of dogs too may suffer badly from the smoke irritation.
Pets should be monitored closely and if your dog is a brachycephalic breed such as pugs or bulldogs, they should be closely watched as they will be more compromised with restricted airways.
Signs of Smoke Irritation are:
How to Protect your Pet from Smoke:
Along with the bush fires and smoke comes heat and we have to also be mindful on heat stroke with our dogs.
Remember to keep your dog out of the heat and smoke and keep them cool.
Here are a few ways how:
You can read all about heat stress and preparing for bush fires with your pets in these past blogs:
AVOID Heat Stress In Dogs
Bush Fires and Your Pets
Due to the smoke and heat we are not able to exercise our dogs like we would normally. Why not bring your dog in for a fun swim to cool off and burn off some of the excess energy they have built up from being indoors a lot of the time. Our pool is indoors and is at a lovely temperature for hot months.
To book call us on 1300 787 064
Its Spring time!!! This means that now the days are getting longer, we can walk our dogs more, be outside and play for longer. Warmer weather and flowers blossoming can bring some seasonal issues for our pets such as pests and allergies so here are a few ideas on getting them all ready for the Spring months ahead.
Warmer months brings on shedding which you will find in the house, car and everywhere else your pooch is! Bathing and brushing regularly will help rid the loose excess hair and keep your house cleaner and your fur baby happier. Take your dog to a Groomer for the works or get a mobile groomer come to your home and give your dog a spring clean!
Spring grass, flowering plants and trees can all cause allergies in your pet just like it can with us. Symptoms of allergies could be scratching, licking, chewing, hair loss, rashes, weepy eyes, red paws, swellings and even smelly skin.
Pay special attention to what’s in your garden and areas where you take your dog for walks. Some gardens can harbour plants that can cause irritation or even be poisonous to our pets. These plants may only flower or berry once a year but it might be those parts of the plant that can cause allergies to your dog. Identify what plants you have in your garden and check if they are dangerous to your dog.
Buzzing insects can attract your dog’s attention and if bitten may cause a nasty allergic reaction. If you notice unusual swelling on your dog or have seen your pooch stung seek Veterinarian advice as the severity can differ from dog to dog and you want to avoid any further complications.
Tick, Fleas and Worms
These pests love the warmer weather so make sure that your pet is up to date with preventative control and if in tick areas, do regular tick searches as these parasites can be harmful. Warm months also bring out mosquitos and their bite on your dog can spread heart worm so make sure that they are covered for this along with your other worming routine for roundworm, hookworm and tapeworms. Talk to your Vet about prevention of these nasties.
Lawn and Garden Care
Spring is when we love getting back out into the garden and getting our lawn and plants healthy and rejuvenated after the cold winter. We must be very careful of the chemicals that we use on our grass and plants as they can be toxic to our pets. Herbicides, fertilisers and insecticides are generally poisonous to our pets so please make sure you read the instructions carefully and take note of the recommended waiting time before allowing your pets back outside on the grass and in the garden.
Spring Cleaning in the House
The warmer weather and longer days gets us inspired to spring clean the house but think about what harsh chemicals you may be using which could be dangerous to your fur babies. Make sure that your pets are out of the way when you are cleaning and to air the house after using chemicals so when your pets enter the home again all fumes and chemical smells have gone.
Don’t forget that we have a Doggy Day Care now at K9 Swim so if you want to spray your lawn or spring clean your house why not drop your fur baby off to us for the day so you can do your spring jobs safely and your pooch gets a fun day out at the same time!
Winter is back and the harsh weather can bring a variety of health issues to our pooches. Biting winds and cold numbing wet days can cause your dog to be uncomfortable and unhappy. Whilst some people think that their dogs are okay with their fur coats and that they can tolerate the cold, this is not always the case. Our dogs are now domesticated and so many of them are now indoor dogs, so cold weather can be hard on them just like it can be for us. We can help our dogs be safe this winter by giving them a little extra care, especially our golden oldies that feel the cold a lot more than they ever used to.
Here are a few winter health risks to our dogs and some ideas on how to get them through these chilly months.
Winter Health Risks to our Dogs
Our dogs if left outside in extreme cold conditions can experience some severe issuess that can be life threatening.
Hypothermia can occur in dogs that are exposed to cold and freezing conditions for long periods of time, if they get wet in cold conditions, if they have bad circulation, old or are in poor health and are subjected to cold and windy weather. Hypothermia is an extreme lowering of the body temperature which causes the heart and respiration to slow down. Symptoms of mild cases would be shivering and their ears, feet and nose will feel cold. As it progresses your dog will start to be lethargic, depressed and weak. Their muscles can start to get stiff and their breathing and heart rate will get dangerously slow.
Frostbite can occur when your dog is out in very cold and freezing conditions. Their body gets exceptionally cold and the body pulls heat from their extremities like their ears, tail and paws to the centre of the body to try and stay warm. Ice crystals may form and the skin starts to become pale and a bluish gray in colour due to the lack of blood flow. The skin may feel icy cold, hard or brittle. This is very painful for the dog and in severe cases can turn black, blister or ulcerate.
Burns: Dogs can happily snuggle up in front of the fire or heater in cold weather but sometimes they may get a little too close. Don’t leave your fur baby alone in front of a fire place or heater even if you do have barriers up. Your pet can still get a bad burn by coming into contact with hot surfaces or spitting fires.
How can we prevent winter health risks?
Swimming at K9 Swim is a great way of exercising in the Winter months. The pool is indoors and heated and we offer a warm water rinse off and blow dry after. We also run a Senior Swim program for Golden Oldies 10 years and over.
For more information Enquire here
Temperature: Some breeds of dogs have big thick coats that can keep them warm but those dogs with thin coats need assistance with a warm jacket for the cold winter months. If your dog is an outside dog then a very good warm shelter and bed is essential to keep them safe from the elements. In freezing conditions a coat or a comfortable bed outside will not protect them from frostbite, to the extremities, or hypothermia if they are out for long periods so try and find a protected, dry, warm place for your dog during these conditions. If your dog is an inside dog then take them out regularly for walks and exercise but don’t leave them out in freezing conditions for a long period of time.
Exercise: Our fur babies still need to exercise in the winter months. The best time for their walks is mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the day is not at its coldest. When the sun is shining, spend time outside playing and get that great Vitamin D supplement. If you are showing or competing your dog in cold conditions then make sure you have a good warm jacket to keep them warm before and after their event.
Bedding: In cold months, its essential to have the right bedding so that your dog is nice and warm and comfortable. Do not let your dog sleep on a cold floor during winter months – get a trampoline bed so it’s off the ground and elevated. Heated beds are available and are great for old or arthritic dogs. Keep your dog away from drafts and provide warm blankets and a nice protected area.
Senior Dog Care: Winter months can certainly aggravate any existing medical conditions and arthritis that your dog may have. Senior dogs need to keep gently exercising especially through these cold months. When exercising, be aware of freezing ground, slippery surfaces, icy winds and freezing rain. Make sure your dog is rugged up when going for a walk and when they return from their outing they have a warm, supportive bed to rest in. You may like to give your golden oldie a mobility supplement to help with the aches and pains associated with age and arthritis.
Massage: Who doesn’t like a massage! Our pooches really benefit from massage, especially in cold months. Massage puts blood and oxygen into the muscle groups, it detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation of arthritic joints and circulates the blood around the body to stay warm and maintain a general well-being.
Nutrition: Your dog doesn’t have to eat lots more because its cold. They are possibly doing less exercise so you may have to reduce the calorie intake according to their activity level. Provide good quality and nutritious meals for your best mate so they feel satisfied in the cold weather.
A great idea especially in the colder months is to make up a batch of bone broth which gives your dog wonderful vitamins and minerals to keep them going through Winter. Bone broth not only is nutritious and yummy to them, but it also helps with their coat which can dry out in the cold months. Bone broth also maintains a healthy gut and is great for dogs with digestive problems, it supports the immune system and assists in protecting joints due to its glucosamine and chondroitin properties.
Here is a recipe for delicious bone broth:
What you need.
How to cook.
The broth will be like jelly when you first spoon it out of the container and some pets love it like that but you can warm it up for 10 seconds in the microwave or leave for a few minutes at room temperature and it will reduce to a liquid form.
Add some freshly chopped parsley to the broth when serving for added vitamins.
A couple of spoons full of broth a day on its own or mixed with food is wonderful for your pet.
You may also be interested in reading:
Winter Herbs - The Perfect Winter Remedies for Dogs
Grooming Your Dog Doesn't Stop Over Winter
As pet owners it can be overwhelming when your dog has had surgery and it’s time for you to take them home from the vet and manage their post-surgery care. It is crucial you give your pet the best possible care during this time to accelerate their recovery and assist in prevention of any secondary issues arising.
Talk to your Veterinary Surgeon
Your Veterinary Surgeon has done their part by performing the surgery and they will also explain your post-surgery care and often give you discharge papers and printed instructions on your dog’s post-surgery care. There are no standard post-surgery specifics as these will always vary due to the type of surgery being done and you’re your dog’s age and condition. It’s important you talk to your vet and that you understand the instructions that you have been given. As this can be an emotional time it is a good idea to write down your questions and take notes on what you need such as bandages, stitches or medications to administer. This will avoid any confusion and ensure you don’t forget anything.
Be diligent about your dog’s post-surgery care.
It is imperative that you follow the instructions from your Vet and if they tell you that your pooch requires restricted rest and needs to be on a controlled lead, they mean it! The reason is that your dog’s body needs to heal properly, and additional movement can increase the risk of injury and result in another surgery or other complications.
Post-op checkups at the Vet clinic are very important after surgery as the Vet will make sure healing and recovery is going as planned. Don’t put off or miss any of these checkups.
Confining your dog for post-surgery recovery
Keeping your dog confined after surgery is common as it helps the cut tissue to heal. Your vet may request you to crate your dog and keep them leashed when taking them to the toilet.
At K9 SWiM with so many post-surgery dogs coming here for rehabilitation and speaking to the pet owners I often hear people say, “It’s too hard to keep my dog crated and leashed to go to the toilet” Yes, it can be frustrating to keep your dog crated, confined and quiet during their recovery period from surgery or an injury. But when I hear dog owners tell me that they had just let their dog outside to go to the toilet and have a sniff around off the leash - that’s when their dog has hurt themselves and then their dog is back to square 1.
Here are a few tips to assist you in making confined rest and restricted exercise a little easier and more stimulating for your dog during this time.
Crate train your dog.
It is a good idea to crate train all dogs. So if they do injure themselves in the future and have to be crated for rest, then they will be OK with it. If you know your dog is going to have to have surgery get them crate trained before surgery. Dogs that have never been crate trained may find it stressful when placed in a crate post-surgery and could injure themselves further by trying to get out.
Canine Hydrotherapy for post-surgery rehabilitation
There any many types of surgeries where canine hydrotherapy can assist and accelerate recovery.
Hydrotherapy is non-weight bearing and will rebuild muscle quickly and will add no stress to the limbs. Muscle atrophy will be prominent in pre-and post-surgery cases and by building muscle again will assist in the stability of the limb and the mobility of your dog.
Surgeries such as spinal, cruciate repair and hip replacements, hydrotherapy is fabulous anywhere from 2-6 weeks’ post-surgery. With any rehabilitation program at K9 SWiM our Vet Referral (Link form) form must be completed and signed by your vet. This confirms that your vet has given the OK to start Hydrotherapy. Your vet should always approve any additional treatment or rehabilitation your pet is receiving for an injury they are treating. If you have any concerns during rehabilitation we are happy to liaise with your vet on your dog is progressing.
Other post-surgery rehabilitation options for your dog.
K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre specializes in post-surgery rehabilitation with an indoor heated pool, an underwater treadmill. We take a holistic approach to rehabilitation offering services such as massage, acupuncture, photonic therapy and strengthening exercises which are great for recovery and rehabilitation. Our retail shop stocks a variety of aids to assist in recovery like harnesses, braces, toe grips and orthopedic memory foam beds. Herbal mixes and supplements are also available for purchase.
Osteopath – Dr Samantha Sherrington and Alternative Vet – Dr Rob Willis are also available for appointments at K9 SWiM Wellness Centre.
So when you are talking to your Vet, discuss these options and ask when your dog will be ready to start these therapies.
You are welcome to come in and have a look around or call us on 1300 787 064 to make an appointment for your dog’s recovery.
Most people love the holiday season and there is so much to love about them. There is cheer in the air and everyone seems to have a smile. While the holiday season may be a happy time for us, it isn’t always so for our pets. As a matter of fact, it can be quite stressful and sometimes potentially dangerous too. So how can you ensure that your pet is able to make it through the holiday season in a stress and anxiety-free manner? Here are some of our tips that can help for different situations:
Leaving your pet when you are heading out of town?
For many, the holidays also mean travel. But it may not always be possible to take your pet with you every time you head out of town. This means you will either rely on a pet-sitter or kennel to house your pooch. This may cause stress and anxiety to your pet. You can help reduce this anxiety by doing at least a couple of runs with a pet-sitter or boarding facility before you go out on vacation. This will help him become more familiar with strange surroundings or a new person. It’s also a good idea to ensure they have a favourite toy or blanket for comfort even a piece of your clothing with your familiar smell.
Going on a long car drive with your dog?
If you plan to take your dog along with you on a road trip, it will go far more smoothly for everyone if you ensure he uses up some of his energy before loading up. Depending on the age of your pet, playing with a toy/ball or even taking them on a long walk can help expend some of the nervous energy. Also, don’t feed your dog breakfast just before you hop in the car. Feed them a relatively light meal 3 to 4 hours before you hit the road. There’s nothing worse than a gassy passenger in the car.
Entertaining at Home?
If you are planning to spend time at home during the holidays and are going to be entertaining a lot, the constant stream of guests can be quite upsetting to your pooch. If your pooch tends to get very nervous around strangers, its best to create a safe space for them in any room of the house. This will give them the quiet time they need while the festivities are on. Don’t compel your pet to be where all the noise and people are if they prefer to be in a quiet room or they want to sleep in their own bed. Allow your pet to decide exactly how much socialising they are comfortable with. Also spend some quality time with your pet around this time so their routine doesn’t feel to out of place.
Putting up Christmas Decorations?
While you may like to decorate your house and your Christmas tree with twinkling lights, decorations such as these may send your pooch into a frenzy. If you notice your pet becoming anxious or nervous when they see the blinking lights, simply use some other décor. After all, your pet is a family member and you want her to enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else, don’t you?
When choosing holiday décor, consider whether it can pose a threat to your pooch if they swallow a decoration. Sometimes a simple thing like securing your Christmas tree so it can’t be knocked down will prevent an injury to your pet.
Any firework displays close by?
Dogs are exposed to a variety of loud noises throughout the holidays. The hustle and bustle of everyone cleaning the house and decorating it, clanging of pots and pans from all the holiday cooking, Christmas carolling and more. Fireworks are the added noise factor that can upset your dog immensely.
Fireworks often causes stress and anxiety in our pets. It goes without saying that you need to keep your pet away from any common areas where people are lighting fireworks. Place your pet in a quiet room when firecrackers are being lit; this can help keepthem calm and safe.
Try to maintain regularity in your pet’s routine and don’t change their diet either. While the holiday season can be an exciting time for you and your family, following these tips can also help ensure your pet is safe and happy as well.
You may also want to read:
• Tips to Keep your Dog Calm and De-Stressed This Holiday Season
• Top 7 Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy This Christmas
Warmer weather brings out the ticks and fleas and in some areas of the country our parasite season is longer due to our seasons not being as defined as they used to be.
Here is some useful information about these parasites, signs that your pet has them and things you can do to prevent your dog from getting ticks and fleas.
Fleas and Your Dog
Fleas are parasites and they live, feed and breed on your dog which is the host animal; but they can also affect humans and it doesn’t take long for them to make themselves at home on your property. Let’s look at the things we can do to prevent these creatures from infesting your home and your pet:
How do fleas show up on dogs in the first place?
Dogs can easily pick up these parasites from other pets as fleas can jump very easily from one dog to another. However, your dog primarily picks up fleas from the environment that it comes into contact with such as yards, homes parks or areas where other flea-infested pets or other animals have been.
Fleas- signs to look out for:
How to protect your dog from fleas.
Fleas thrive in shady, wet, warm and humid environments. So, keeping this in mind there are several ways you can help protect your dog from getting fleas such as:
Ticks and Your Dog
Ticks are normally found in regions where there is a lot of bushland and native wildlife. These troublesome parasites can cause quite serious problems for your dog such as paralysis. The paralysis tick latches onto the dog and injects toxins into their system which progressively paralyses them normally from the hind legs forward.
Symptoms of tick paralysis include:
Some more symptoms of common tick infestations
How does a dog get ticks?
It extremely difficult to prevent your dog from being exposed to ticks; these creatures can latch onto to your dog when he/she goes out with you on walks, or during any other outdoor activities such as hiking etc. Dogs get a tick infestation because they are out in that open environment, walking through the high grass or woods.
Ticks undergo questing (they crawl up onto low shrubs/grass and stay there). When a dog walks by or even when we walk past and brush against these ticks, they quickly dislodge and latch onto us. These parasites can live for well over a year without any food and they will just stay there waiting for a host to latch onto.
The right way to check your dog for ticks
How to protect your dog from getting ticks
Some of the things you can do to protect your dog from getting ticks include:
How to Remove A Tick Safely from Your Dog
Tick Twisters are available to purchase at our K9 SWiM Wellness Centre, North Richmond
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Summer and it’s hot weather is here! That means that the bush fire season is upon us. Pet owners need to be prepared in the event of a bush fire. Pets have been left behind in bush fires because their owners had not included their pets as part of their Bush Fire Survival Plan. Taking the time to create a Bush fire Survival Plan helps ensure your family and pets safety.
Having a pet emergency kit will ensure you have the items you need for your pet ready to go quickly. The kit can include:
If you are using a cage, pet carrier or float, have these easily accessible for a quick evacuation and make sure your pet is trained to enter and spend time in these. Otherwise they may panic or fret and you may have difficulty to get them go into their crate or carrier.
Relocate or Stay?
For high-risk times it may be safer for you and your pets to relocate to somewhere else until the danger is over. Pets may panic and run. If you want to keep them with you, then keep them close to you at times of risk by keeping them inside, on a lead or in a crate. This will be faster and more efficient when it’s time to move your pet should you need to evacuate.
Do not leave it until the last minute to evacuate as this is the most dangerous option for you and your pets.
Make a Plan with Neighbours
Having a plan made with neighbours can help keep your pets safe if you are not at home. Consider doing the following:
It is a great idea to have signage on a gate or on your door should you have animals on your property or inside and you are not home. State how many pets there are so they can be accounted for should someone else have to evacuate them in an emergency.
Always prepare your evacuation bush fire emergency plan before summer so you can act quickly in case of an emergency.
Watch for Heat Stress in Your Pets
Bush fires are usually in times of extreme heat and your pets may be vulnerable to heat stress. The signs will be panting, dehydration, drooling, high temperature, red gums, increased respiration and heart rate. If you suspect your pet is experiencing heat stroke, soak towels in cool water and place over pet or in-between the legs or around the neck. Always seek veterinary assistance immediately.
To prevent heat stroke provide lots of shade and fresh water outside. Preferably bring them inside to a cool part of the house if the temperature is soaring outside. Do not leave dogs in cars; the car can heat up so quickly to a dangerous temperature. Overweight, aged, short nosed or unhealthy dogs will suffer a lot more in the heat than other dogs so take extra precautions with them.
Fire Safety for You and Your Pets
As dog owners we want to ensure that our gardens are safe for our four legged friends. When creating our gardens we are sometimes unaware that they could be toxic to our pets. Pet friendly gardens tend to have an organic approach, making them safer and healthier. Before going out and buying seeds or plants, let’s make sure you are planting a dog friendly garden.
Common Weeds & Plants That Are Harmful To Dogs
There are a lot of plants that can be harmful to our pets and it is always wise to check online before purchasing. Listed below are some common weeds and plants found in the garden that can cause allergies or toxicity to your pets:
The AEC (Animal Emergency Centre) has produced a chart that you can download or print for reference, listing Common Plants Toxic to Dogs and Cats. Check your garden today!
Fertilizers, Herbicides, Insecticides and Baits
It is important to store any fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides or baits out of reach of your pets as these can be toxic. When using, keep your dogs out of the garden and make sure you read the labels. The label will include instructions and ensure the safety of your pets when using the product. If you are unsure then consult your veterinarian.
Why Do Dogs Eat Plants?
Not all dogs eat plants but here some common reasons why some dogs do:
Common Symptoms Associated with Toxic Dog Plants
Most of us know when our four legged friends are not feeling well and toxic plants can cause minor to more severe symptoms. Listed here are some of the common symptoms related to toxic plants:
If you think your dog or pet is sick from ingesting a poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Planning Your Dog Friendly Garden
When planning your garden, make sure you select plants that are safe for your dog and avoid plants that are toxic or irritable. Some dogs love digging and there are bulbs like hyacinths, tulips, daffodils and some lilies that can be fatal. Some plants are fine and it’s only the fruits and berries that are poisonous, although there are also some grasses and weeds that can cause allergic reactions like itching, sneezing and bad rashes.
Familiarise yourself with what plants you have in your garden, or if planning a new one - check that the plants are safe for your pets before purchasing them. There is a great Australian book out called
“Poisonous2pets by Nicole O’Kane” that details all of the common plants and their toxicity along with great photos to help you identify the plant itself.
You also need to be aware of plants with thorns, spikes or hard sharp branches and where they are planted. If they are poorly positioned dogs may run into them or run past and injure themselves.
Features of a Dog Friendly Garden
To keep our dogs happy and healthy, here is a list of dog friendly features for the garden:
Dogs love to be part of any family fun including Easter, but CHOCOLATE is NOT safe and is harmful to your dog. There are alternatives to chocolate that your dog can enjoy when celebrating Easter with you.
Including Your Dog In Easter Celebrations
Your dog can join in the Easter celebrations by you making or buying Easter eggs made from carob that are yummy to eat and safe for your dog.
A boiled egg, coloured and decorated with natural food dyes is another treat your dog can enjoy at Easter.
Why not make up some healthy brownies or biscuits made into Easter shapes and frost with carob or yoghurt drops! Your dogs will go hopping mad over them!!!
Continue reading for a great doggy biscuit - K9 Cookie that you can make yourself.
Easter Hunt For Dogs
Children love to play a game of Easter Hunt around the house and yard so why not get your fury friend involved and create an Easter Hunt for your dog! Carob Easter eggs or their favourite dog treats or biscuits will work a treat that will have them hunting for a surprise.
The Perfect Easter Egg For Your Dog is NOT Chocolate!
Most humans love chocolate but chocolate is toxic to our 4 legged friends. Chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa contains the compound theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs. The amount of Theobromine differs in the different types of chocolate with dark chocolate having the most.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Experiencing Chocolate Toxicity
The symptoms of Theobromine poisoning include:
• Rapid breathing
• Stiff muscles
• Uncoordinated .
• Elevated heart rate
• Seizures / collapse
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Chocolate Over Easter?
It is important to keep chocolate out of reach of our dogs and keep them in a different area if there are Easter celebrations with chocolate about. Many people are unaware that chocolate is toxic to dogs so make sure the rest of the family and friends know not to feed your dog any type of chocolate or sweets containing cocoa.
I Think My Dog Has Eaten Chocolate, What Should I Do?
Stay calm and contact your vet immediately.
Try this delicious healthy K9 Cookie recipe for your pooch. It is a great treat for your pooch that can be used for Easter and any other celebration. So let’s get cooking!
K9 Cookie Recipe
• 2 cups of wholemeal flour
• 1 cup of rolled oats
• 1/3 cup of smooth organic peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon of natural honey
• ¼ teaspoon of chia seed
• 1 1/2 cups of water or low salt chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix the flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl. Pour in one cup of water or stock and stir until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, honey, and chia seeds and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
3. Slowly add the water until the mixture has a thick and doughy consistency.
4. Lightly flour a cooking surface. Roll the dough onto the cooking surface to create a 1/4 inch thick sheet.
5. Use a cookie cutter to create Easter shapes. Place the cookies onto a greased or lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before icing.
When cool you can melt carob or yoghurt drops to decorate the cookies. Delicious!!!!
We all love our Australian summers and dogs love to stretch out and relax in the summer sun but some days can be excessively hot for our pets and we need to take some precautionary measures to avoid heat stress in dogs.
Dogs Can Dehydrate Very Quickly
Consider leaving more than just one bowl of water around just in case one gets knocked over. Do not use stainless steel or tin bowls for their water as these can heat up quickly. Make sure the water is left in the shade and if you are heading out for a few hours on a really hot day place some ice cubes in their bowl of water to help keep it cooler for longer.
Never Leave Your Dog In The Car
It does not have to be a hot day for the temperature of your car to rise quickly even with the windows down. The temperature in cars rise quickly and they can become like an oven for your dog so never make the mistake of leaving them in the car even for “just a minute” while you run an errand.
Provide Your Dog With Plenty Of Shade And Access To Cooler Areas
Provide your dog with shade and access to cooler areas so they have a place to get out of the sun and beat the heat. On extremely hot days it is best for you to keep your dog inside. It is always nice to “chill out” with your dog away from the heat.
Take Your Dog For A Swim
What better way to escape the heat than going for a swim. Hot summer days are not good for exercising your dog like you normally would at the park or going for a long run or walk. Swimming will cool the body temperature. Dogs can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do, heat and humidity can raise our dogs body temperatures to dangerous levels. Not only will your dog cool off by swimming but will get a good workout as well! For the older dog wading and gentle swimming can help bring the core temperature down.
The Swamp Cooler's light color is designed to reflect heat from the sun. Combined with the evaporative cooling effect, the Swamp Cooler keeps dogs comfortable when temperatures rise. Auto-lock buckles on each side of the jacket provide easy on/off.
Symptoms Of Heat Stress in Dogs
The symptoms of heat stress can vary and they will display several signs:
• Rapid panting or finding it hard to breath
• Fast heart rate
• Red or pale gums
• Excessive drooling
• Signs of distress
• Lethargic or difficult for them to get up
• Vomiting or diarrhoea
What Should You Do If Your Dog Show Signs of Heat Stress
Remove the dog from the hot area immediately. Take them to your veterinary. You can also lower their temperature by wetting them with cool water. CAUTION: Do NOT use very cold water as it can actually be counterproductive and cause more harm. Allow your dog access to cool water to drink but do not try to force feed them water as they may choke.
Remember prevention is the key!
We are getting closer to the festive season where there will be lots of food, fun and festivities. You want to make sure your dog is happy and part of this. Not everything we do in the jolly season is safe for our canine friends. Here are our 7 top tips on how to keep your dog happy this Christmas.
1. Keep tinsel and decorations out of reach
These decorations are very tempting for dogs even if they are placed high on your tree. Make sure you keep an eye on your dog if they are anywhere near these because swallowing them can cause serious injury or even death.
2. Know which Christmas foods are bad for dogs
Christmas foods that we love can be toxic to your dog. Here are a few foods that you should NOT give your dog – chocolate, Christmas cake, grapes, raisins and nuts and NO ham bones as they are quite fatty and can lead to pancreatitis. Stick to treats that have been made for dogs as they love it and they are good for them. Love’em has some great treats and cookies created especially for dogs.
3. Secure your Christmas tree
A Christmas tree can easily be knocked down by your dog. Place your Christmas tree in a corner and secure the tree so it won’t be knocked causing your dog or anyone else injury.
4. Choose the perfect gift for your dog
The perfect gift for your dog is the practical gift. Why not buy your dog their own life jacket so you can be assured they are safe when they go swimming on holidays or in your own pool, K9 SWiM stock lots of healthy supplements and Hills Science Diet food so you can keep them healthy inside and out. We also stock fun water toys that are durable, colourful and floatable - the perfect gift for this summer.
Our Surf Dog robes are a must for this summer! Dries your dog quickly after their swim and also stops sand and water getting into your car!
5. Include your dog in celebrating Christmas and know when they need a rest
It is great to have your dog enjoying Christmas with family and friends but they also need space away from it all where they can rest and relax. Many dogs are afraid of fireworks and may panic or try to run away and injure themselves in the process so be sure they are safe and cannot get out. If your dog needs to be away from the celebrations make sure you spend some time walking and playing with them beforehand.
6. Organise a dog sitter
Friends, family and neighbours can be busy during the holiday season so organising a dog sitter will make sure your dog stays safe and happy while you are away.
7. Play with your dog
Your dog loves to spend time with you. It is not always the quantity but quality. Play their favourite game or take them to their favourite dog park to meet up with their friends. So play and be merry.
Dogs are part of the family so it is important that they feel safe and happy over the holiday season. We hope these tips help you keep your dog happy and safe over Christmas and keep their tail’s wagging!
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Hi I'm Sharon Osmond the owner and founder of K9 Swim. The Splash Blog is where I share tips and information on dog's health and safety and some fun facts and stories.