Fleas have been a particular problem in Keysborough Summers, and this Summer is shaping up to be no exception. However, to keep your pet and home flea-free you need to maintain year round prevention.
Did you know that only 5% of the flea population is actually on your pet? The other 95% (eggs and larvae) are lurking in the environment. They’re in the soil, your pet’s bedding and any other areas your pet frequents, including your couch! Controlling the flea population, and stopping re-infestation of your pet means more than just killing the adults once or twice with a flea bath.
Raw, meaty bones are often fed to our pets both for the pet’s enjoyment and in an attempt to improve dental health. While there have not been many quality clinical trials assessing their effectiveness, they are still widely used and anecdotally can be helpful.
However there are several risks with feeding bones that should not be ignored. These include pancreatitis, fractured teeth, oesophagus or bowel perforation, constipation and increased exposure to tapeworm and bacteria such as salmonella. If you do feed bones to your pets, please keep the following in mind.
- First of all, the aim is for your pet to chew on the bones, not completely consume them. Swallowed bone fragments can cause life threatening obstructions in the oesophagus or small intestine, and bone fragments can cause severe, painful constipation. Fragments can also traumatise the mouth, so ensure your pet is chewing, but not demolishing and consuming the bone. Larger bones are less likely to be swallowed. Cats may prefer chicken wings, either whole or disarticulated.
- Remove excess fat from the bone. Everything consumed will count towards your pets calorie intake and eating a large amount of fat in one sitting can predispose to pancreatitis.
- The bone should not be cut. Bones cut lengthwise to expose the marrow allow dogs to consume a lot of fat very quickly, potentially causing pancreatitis. Teeth can also be hooked over cut edges and are more likely to fracture.
- Always use raw and thawed bones. Cooked bones, even scraps from your dinner, are more likely to splinter. Frozen bones are more likely to fracture teeth.
- Always supervise pets with bones to ensure they will not fight each other over them, and so that you can intervene if they do remove fragments that can damage the mouth or be swallowed and cause an obstruction.
- Remember to throw away the bone when the pet is finished chewing or starts to break the bone. Do not leave bones lying around for days at a time.
Bones are not suitable for every pet. Some pets would rather lick them than actually chew them, and some pets will consistently be unwell after eating bones. These pets may still benefit from dental diets or chews, and all pets will benefit from regular dental check ups. Come in and have your pet’s teeth checked this August, and have a chat about whether bones are right for your pet or what other options you have in a Free Dental Check.