Animals

Tips to Keep You and Your Hunting Dogs Tick and Flea Pest Free

Are fleas and ticks giving you and your dog a hard time even though you are taking some preventive measures? If so, the following simple yet effective tips will surely help you get rid of them:

Keep Tick and Flea Free

Clean your house

The most basic step toward a flea and tick free life is cleaning your house. You want to clean your house at least once every week. Pay special attention to the carpets and couches where your pet likes to spend time. Vacuum them as best as possible. Other than that, after bathing your pet, be sure to wash his or her towel well. In addition, be sure to clean the corners as nicely as you can. Also, clean or vacuum hard to reach areas like under your bed, behind your furniture etc. Prevention is much better than having to end up calling in a flea fumigation service.

Trim the yard

Usually, fleas and ticks do not form inside the house. They come from outside, usually from the yard. This is why it is important to keep your yard in a good shape at all times. Mow the grass and trim the shrubs so that the little critters cannot live there. Other than that, discourage feral pets from coming to your yard.

Shampoo your pet

To get rid of fleas and ticks, shampoo your pet once in a while. Note, however, that it is important to take into account your pet’s age before shampooing. Read product labels carefully to know the best practices. Also, avoid harmful or very strong products as well as you can. Moreover, before shampooing, cover your pet’s eyes and ears so that water cannot get in.

Use flea products

In case simple steps do not work, you will need to look at flea infestation repellents. Usually, just spraying them on your pet should be enough. However, note that not all repellents are good. Use only those repellents that are natural and free of DEET. You can take a look at homeopathic repellents, too.

Choose professional treatment

If almost nothing seems to work, you may require the help of professionals. There are many different kinds of flea and tick removal treatments available. One of the good professional treatments is house fumigation for fleas. It works by spraying fumes in an infected area. Even though this idea should be your last resort, its importance must not be ignored. If fleas and ticks are really giving you a hard time, flea fumigation will help you tremendously.

Preparation is the Key to Safely Traveling with Horses

Springtime has arrived and flowers are beginning to bloom! For many of us, the dawn of spring signals the start of that time of the year that we hit the trails with our horses. Often this entails making trips to state parks and other locations where the best trails are to be found. Whether or not your horse is a seasoned traveler, or a rookie having her first experience being loaded into a trailer, it is a stressful time for her. Here are some tips and tricks to make it easier on your horse when you do head down the road.

Foresight means better preparation. Being aware of the stresses that your horse will experience while being transported will make it easier to minimize its impact, and ensure that your horse arrives at the destination in good condition.

According to RWST it’s important to ensure the horsebox is insured before you take the horses out. Unfortunately, issues occur so insurance is a necessary if travelling with horses.

Fatigue is the enemy of good health. Are you aware the muscle fatigue and stress during transport are virtually identical to those experienced from exercise? It’s true! Take precautions to prevent an avoidable injury, particularly on longer trips. If you plan to travel further than 12 hours, overnight stops are essential. Schedule your trip to have you arriving a minimum of 48 hours prior to any ride or competition to allow a proper cool down period for your horse.

It is common for horses to become dehydrated during transportation because they are contained in a small space with little air circulation and no access to water. Minimize this by making frequent rest stops and offer your horse some water to drink at each one. Providing a quality electrolyte will help as well. It’ll help her recover her energy levels expended during the trip. Experienced horsemen recommend supplementing electrolytes for three days prior to the trip.

Most trailers have facilities that allow for free access to hay. If yours doesn’t, consider buying a tie-on hay bag to mount in your horse’s stall. Having free access to hay gives your horse something to do while traveling, and helps to keep her stress levels lower. It also is useful for retaining water in the gut. If your trailer is of the stock type that allows air to blow freely inside, wet the hay first to help control dust. Do not feed grain while traveling as it can lead to laminitis or colic.

Good ventilation is essential to prevent pathogens from dried manure overwhelming your horse’s respiratory system. Clean the trailer before and after every trip. Open windows, if possible, to allow more airflow. If your trailer is equipped with an exhaust fan, make sure it is working properly prior to the trip.

Consider your horse your passenger. Driving slowly and steadily is far less stressing on your horse than driving at high speed down a curvy road.

Use high quality probiotics to supplement your horse’s diet. Travel stress can tax a horse’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to an unbalance of bacteria in your horses gut.

Whenever possible leave horses untied for shorter trips and tied on longer ones. Leaving your horse untied will allow her to lower her head below the shoulder, which lessens the risk of respiratory distress and allows mucus to drain more efficiently. Use common sense. If your horse is one that is likely to fight with other horses, the risk of injury is greater by leaving her untied.

Loading is the most stressful part of traveling with horses, particularly the first time out. Horses are nervous and even a well-trained horse can be difficult to convince to load. Familiarize yourself with the loading process prior to the scheduled trip, and practice with your horse. There is no worse feeling than to cancel a trip because your horse injures herself as you were preparing to leave.

Talk to your veterinarian about how to monitor your horse’s vital signs if you don’t already know how. Knowing how to monitor your horse’s vitals will enable you to respond much more quickly if something happens. You’ll also be able to communicate with your veterinarian much more clearly if you can describe what is happening.

Be prepared for emergencies. Keep an emergency kit in your trailer so that you always have it close at hand. Learn how to provide basic first aid, and learn to recognize the signs of colic and dehydration. Carry extra feed and water just in case your trip takes longer than planned.

By taking these precautions you can ensure that your trip with your horse is an uneventful one. So get prepared, schedule a ride with some of your riding buddies, and enjoy the spring weather before it gets too hot!