Archive for the ‘essentials’ Category
Hopefully you read my post on the merits of Frontline Plus and how to save a few dollars in the process. Ok, now a word on heartworm preventative…
If you live anywhere where there aren’t hard, killing frosts, you have no business stopping your heartworm preventative! Let me repeat: Treat your pet every singe month with a heartworm preventative if you live anywhere where some plants can survive all winter. Here in Illinois everything dies back or goes dormant for at least three months of the year: December, January, and February and these are the months that I stop heartworm treating my dogs. But this is the first time every that I did not treat for the full 12 months. Again, the reason I stopped was to try to save some money and it felt safe to me. But heartworm is a NASTY parasite and it will kill your dog. Don’t mess around. Prevention is easy but not all products are created equal.
I have been treating my pets (Cleo the cat and all my dogs) for the past 20 some years with Heartgard. The dogs LOVE the meaty chew and even our nearly 15 year old gobbles it up. It is never difficult to get the medication into the dogs. But you have to have your vet’s prescription to purchase the medication so I always just bought it from my vet. However, last year I tried two things. First I shopped online and found that the same products were slightly cheaper on PetMeds.com than at my vet. Second, I tried Interceptor. Shopping at PetMeds was a GOOD idea, switching products was not. See, I like Heartgard because it is easy to get the correct dose into my dogs and that dose covers other parasites as well; parasites like round worm and others. Interceptor says it covers other parasites too but the product comes in a hard tablet form and my dogs either swallowed it whole (the package said they were supposed to chew it for it to be effective) or refused to eat it. So I was forced to either jam it down their throats (which I did one month) or grind it up and mix it with some wet food – which was WAY more hassle than I wanted.
If you are like me, and live in a part of the world with four seasons you get to take a break from your flea and tick preventative. I stop treating my dogs after the first few hard frosts, usually sometime in late November or early December. But then, as spring approaches, I have to check my supplies. I try to keep enough on hand for at least one treatment in the spring before ordering my next years supply.
I used to purchase my favorite preventative, Frontline Plus, from my veterinarian when I got my heartworm preventative. But with four dogs and the tightening of our belts this past year, I started doing some research to see where I could find the best deals. And I was shocked to find Frontline Plus online through Amazon for nearly half the cost of what my veterinarian was charging. I have heard rumors that the products on Amazon aren’t as high quality as the ones you get through the vet’s office but I find that hard to believe. It says Frontline Plus on the package, looks exactly like the packaging I get through the vet’s office, and works perfectly. I think the people who don’t trust it when bought online are just new to our online, global market place.
Here’s why I like Frontline Plus so much:
My sister lives in California and is feeling ready to invite a dog into her life. She found this little guy, Ebbie. Here’s a link to his rescue organization.
Anyway, as we were talking I told her the advice I tell all new dog owners. And this applies to you whether you are adopting a rescue dog, a rescue puppy, buying a pet store dog/puppy (but you wouldn’t do that now would you?) or buying from a breeder:
First, bring your dog home and give him a walk around your neighborhood. For a small dog it can be a small dog walk – around 30 minutes. For a larger breed, a larger walk, at minimum an hour, better to be longer. Keep the walk controlled meaning the dog should be at your side or behind you. Remind him of his place as often as necessary, either by a gentle tug on the leash and a correction word/sound, or by stopping in your tracks whenever he starts to pull on the leash. If this doesn’t get his attention (more…)
Crates are not bad as some people say – they replicate the idea of a den which dogs naturally dig in the wild. However, no den that they dig includes a door they can’t open. Don’t believe people who say that dogs “love” their crates. No animal likes to be confined against its will. But many dogs learn to tolerate their crates and will go in willingly when asked. Some even go to them when they are tired on their own. But when we shut that door we take away their freedom and they know it. They comply because that is what makes them the amazing creatures they are – they trust us implicitly.