With a Few Precautions, Dogs and Their Owners Can Fully Enjoy the Blooming Season
March 21, 2008 // Franchising.com // ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As winter's chill gives way to warmer days and spring flowers, Bark Busters, the world's largest dog training company, offers owners some tips for helping their dogs enjoy a happy, healthy spring season.
"Spring represents a time of growth, renewal and new life—but not everything that springs forth this season is good for dogs," said Liam Crowe, Bark Busters dog behavioral therapist and trainer. "With a little awareness and a few simple precautions, dog owners can prevent many of the problems that arise with warmer weather and keep their dogs safe and healthy."
Bark Busters offers the following pointers for warding off spring's primary culprits:
The American Heartworm Society recommends that all dogs be tested annually for heartworm infection. Transmitted by mosquitoes, this serious parasitic disease can be fatal. Fortunately, your veterinarian offers a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection, including an injection, daily and monthly tablets, and monthly topical medications.
Fleas and ticks can cause a host of problems, from flea allergy dermatitis to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In large enough numbers, both ticks and fleas can also cause dangerous amounts of blood loss, especially in young dogs. While a number of flea and tick prevention options are available today, monthly spot-on topicals and oral tablets offer convenience and effectiveness in protecting your dog. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
Blooming plants, grasses and flowers can trigger atopy, an allergy similar to hay fever. But instead of sneezing, a dog typically develops itchy skin and will persistently scratch, lick and bite to get relief. If you suspect that your pooch may be suffering from seasonal allergies, visit your veterinarian for recommended allergy treatments. These can range from oral medications (like cortisone) to skin tests that pinpoint allergies in more severe cases.
Inquisitive dogs might see those fragrant spring blooms as a tasty snack, but dogs can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Ask your vet for a list of poisonous plants you'll want to avoid having in your garden. You can also help prevent your dog from digging by not gardening with your dog present—he may conclude that digging is acceptable and enjoy digging to underground pipes or chewing on sprinkler heads.
If a lawn—yours or another's—has been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides, do not let your dog walk on it until these potentially dangerous treatments have dried completely.
If your furry friend has taken on an offensive aroma over the winter, find out where the smell is coming from. Odor in your dog's mouth could mean dental problems, digestive problems or underlying internal diseases, such as kidney problems or diabetes. If his teeth are discolored or he has an odor worse than his usual doggie breath, have your veterinarian perform a dental exam. Next, check his ears. If the skin inside is red or sore, if the ear has a bad smell, or if your dog reacts in pain when you examine his ears, have your vet check him for an ear infection. Also check your dog's skin for the common disorder seborrhea, usually characterized by flaky dandruff or an oily, waxy feel to the coat and a strong odor. You can prevent this by frequently bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo that your veterinarian can recommend. Finally, an infection or anal gland problems can also lead to odor and discomfort, in which case your dog will need to be seen by your veterinarian.
Bark Busters dog behavioral therapists are renowned authorities in correcting and managing dog behavior. Bark Busters' natural training system can successfully train any dog, even a puppy, by leveraging the same communications methods—body language and voice control—that dogs follow as part of their instinctual pack mentality. About 80 percent of Bark Busters clients require only one two-hour home visit from a licensed dog behavioral therapist, if owners continue with follow-up exercises just 10 to15 minutes a day for several weeks. All training takes place right in the home where the problems generally occur. And Bark Busters' training is the only service of its kind that is guaranteed for the life of the dog. In every market where Bark Busters is established, a majority of veterinarians familiar with the technique recommend the company's services.
Bark Busters, the world's largest, most trusted dog training company, started in Australia in 1989 and came to the United States in 2000. Since inception, nearly 400,000 dogs have been trained worldwide using its dog-friendly, natural methods. With 240+ franchised offices in 41 states and more than 400 offices in 10 countries, Bark Busters is continuing its mission to build a global network of dog behavioral therapists to enhance responsible dog ownership and reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia of companion dogs. Bark Busters is the only international dog training company that offers a written lifetime guarantee. Therapists will provide future sessions free of charge if problem behaviors recur, or if any new problems develop. For more information, call 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or visit www.BarkBusters.com, where dog owners can complete a Dog Behavioral Quiz to rate their dogs' behavior.