Keep you dog on a leash when you are outside, unless in a fenced-in area. Clean up after your dog, as this will ensure that you both stay healthy.
Cats should have a litter box, (any box with sand in) which should be cleaned daily to avoid bad smells in the house. When cats have access to outside soil a sandbox may not be necessary.
Every dog and cat needs daily exercise. Play with them and take your dog for walks on a leash.
Every dog and cat should have at least two food bowls, one for water and one for food.
DOGS: Puppies 8-12 weeks old need four meals a day. Puppies 3-6 months old need three meals a day. Puppies 6-12 months old need two meals a day. When your dog is 1 year old, one meal a day is usually enough, although for some dogs it is better to continue with two meals a day.
WATER : Dogs and cats should have access to fresh water at all times. The water should be refilled everyday and kept cool, clean and fresh.
CATS: Cats need to have access to food throughout the day. It is best to feed them in the morning and to leave the food not eaten for later in the day.
Take care that ants do not take over your pet’s food, as they will not eat it.
- Teach your dog the basics – “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “down” and “leave it”. This will improve your relationship with your dog and other people. Use little bits of food to lure and reward.
- Cats are a bit more of a challenge to train; however you could train your cat to follow certain routines, such as feeding and playing times.
The leading cause of skin problems in dogs and cats is the ordinary flea. Fleas can occur year-round in warm climates or on pets that live indoors.
How do I know my dog or cat has fleas?
Fleas can be diagnosed on your pets by finding adult fleas, flea “dirt” or flea eggs on the skin. The best chance of finding on your pet is on the belly and inner thighs.
Adult fleas are small, about the size of the head of a pin and are wingless. The move fast and leap great distances. The strong back legs enable them to jump from pet to pet or even to humans.
Flea “dirt” is actually flea droppings and looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. When put on a wet paper towel, it will look like tiny blood stains. Flea eggs look like tiny white sand grains. The flea can complete its entire life cycle in just fourteen days. If any of these are found on your dog or cat, you need to begin your war on these pests.
Are fleas dangerous?
Most dogs and cats that are bitten by fleas will have some itching, but some dogs and cats can develop a severe allergic skin condition known as summer eczema. Fleas also carry dog and cat tapeworms. Your pets get tapeworm infections from biting infected fleas.
How do I get rid of fleas on my pet?
To control fleas effectively, the life cycle of these tiny dark brown insects should be disrupted. The adult fleas you see represent only one percent of the flea population. The other 99% are the mostly unseen eggs and immature developing fleas that live in your rugs, furniture, the dog or cat’s bedding, or outside. Products like flea shampoos, dips, sprays and powders are available in the supermarket. Be sure to treat all the animals in the household. If you have a heavy infestation, you may need to treat your house and yard as well. Ask your CVC veterinarian for the most effective and safest products.
Two species of ticks are commonly found on pets, the yellow dog tick and the kennel tick.
Dogs and cats may pick up the adult yellow dog ticks by investigating bushes and roaming in the veld, because the non-adult (immature) stages of this tick species feed on field rats and mice (rodents). The kennel tick is usually found in and around buildings and all stages feed on the pets. Cats are less prone to tick infestations. Ticks suck blood from your pet and are capable of spreading diseases to pets and humans. Billiary is the most common disease of dogs and can cause death in pets. The gums of infected pets appear pale, they become listless and have a poor appetite.
How do I know my dog has ticks?
Ticks are most often found around the dog’s neck, on the ears, in the folds between the legs and on the body, and between the toes. Cats may have ticks on their neck or face.
Ticks should be removed by dabbing the tick well with Surgical spirits or Methylated spirits – it will drop off in about 10 minutes. Ticks in the ear can be killed by putting a few drops of Frontline in the ear, or by putting dog powder or karbadust on them. If a dog has many ticks in the ear and is shaking its head, it should be taken to a veteriarian.
Ticks can be controlled by dipping your dog every month in summer time and when dipping facilities are available in winter at the community veterinary clinic. It is important to keep the bedding of your pets clean.
Caution should be taken to avoid contact with tick fluids as they may carry disease.
Taken directly from the South African Veterinary Association booklet “ Your Best Friend , What you need to know” by Erna Klopper