Tips On De-Fleaing Your Dog before His Trip To a Boarding Kennel

Before you take your dog to the boarding kennel for his holiday while you’re away on yours, it’s important to make sure that he is free from fleas. Aside from the discomfort of continual itching for your pet, you don’t want your pooch to spread his cargo of passengers throughout the kennel too!

So how do you know if your dog has fleas and what can you do to get rid of them? Read on for a helpful overview.

Identifying fleas

Fleas are tiny, reddish-brown coloured insects that live on the skin of dogs, cats and wildlife. Fleas feed on the blood of their host and move around by jumping. Once fleas get into your home, they can survive in carpets and pet bedding and they will also bite people!

Flea bites cause skin irritation and can also carry bacteria that could set up an infection. If your pet has sensitive skin, he could suffer a serious allergic dermatitis as a result of flea activity.

To spot fleas on your pet, encourage him to lie down and roll over so that you can examine his tummy. Look for pinhead-sized reddish-brown dots moving quickly over the skin. You will also see little flecks of dark matter on the skin’s surface. The dog’s skin will appear red and he will scratch continually, especially around his belly and neck. In severe infestations the dog’s hair will fall out in patches.

Getting rid of fleas

Give all your carpets a thorough vacuuming, and then treat them with a flea killing product that you can obtain from a pest controller or from your vet. This should kill off any adult fleas, as well as destroying eggs and larvae.

There are a number of ways of treating fleas on your dog, including:

  • ready to use ‘spot-on’ treatments that you simply drop from a pipette onto the dog’s neck
  • powders that you distribute throughout the dog’s fur
  • injections that are available from your vet

Flea treatments need to be repeated regularly, depending on the type of product you are using. If you have a multi-pet household, you will need to de-flea all your animals.

Although you can buy flea treatments in pet shops and some supermarkets, the best thing to do is ask your vet to recommend a product that will best suit your pet, especially if skin allergies are a concern.

Be vigilant for fleas on your dog, and follow the guidelines above to make sure that your pet isn’t carrying any non-paying passengers along to the boarding kennels!  Ask your vet for more guidance and advice about preventative flea treatment for your pets.

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Grooming Your Cockapoo – Top Tips and Tricks

Cockapoos make adorable family pets, but their coats do require regular grooming to keep them healthy and looking good.  Here are some top tips on how to care for your cockapoo’s coat.

Grooming kit

Before you can groom your pet, you’ll need to take a trip to a good pet supplies store and invest in the right kit.  A perfect starter kit should include:

  • a slicker brush
  • a wide-toothed comb
  • de-tangling spray
  • round-ended scissors
  • cotton wool balls

Grooming your cockapoo

Most cockapoos have curly coats and some can grow quite long.  If your pet’s coat falls into this category, it may be a good idea to ask your local dog grooming salon to trim it periodically to help prevent matting and tangling.

  1. Start with short sessions until your cockapoo gets used to the sensation of being groomed.  It’s also a good idea to have some treats on hand so that you can reward him for sitting still.  
  2. One disadvantage of long, curly coats is that the hair around your dog’s bottom will require trimming to prevent poo from sticking to the fur.  To do this, use a small pair of round-ended scissors, plenty of patience and rewards!  
  3. Cockapoos have thick coats, and it is important that you groom the whole depth of coat, not just the top.  Use a slicker brush to start with and give the whole coat a thorough brush.  Start with the dog’s head and work your way along his body, following the lay of the coat.  Never brush your dog’s fur against the direction of growth, as this can be very unpleasant and distressing for him.  
  4. Now take your wide-toothed comb and go over the dog’s coat again.  The purpose of this exercise is to remove any knots or tangles that were not picked up by the brush.  You may need to use your fingers to gently tease out any particularly stubborn mats.  Areas that are especially prone to knotting include the collar, ears, armpits and legs.  You can help to prevent mats from forming around the neck by using a rolled leather collar, rather than a flat, synthetic one.  
  5. The long hair around your cockapoo’s eyes may become dirty and sticky.  Use a cotton wool ball dipped in clean, warm water to wipe away any sleep and clean the fur.  Always use a fresh cotton wool ball for each eye and wipe away from the eye towards the dog’s nose.  
  6. Finish off the job by applying a light spritz of detangling spray and combing it through your dog’s coat.

You can keep your cockapoo’s coat looking fabulous by grooming him regularly, using the above guidelines.  For further advice about coat care, have a chat with a dog groomer in your area.

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How do I help my pregnant cat?

If your cat is pregnant you may be unsure of what you need to do to support them during pregnancy. Here are some tips for owners to help their pregnant cats. 

Food and water

Your cat is likely to be more hungry than normal as she grows a litter of kittens. She may benefit from a specialist diet, with higher amounts of nutrients including calcium and protein. AS the pregnancy progresses she will have less and less room for food, but may be just as hungry so will be best served by eating lots of small meals rather than a few bigger meals each day.  Your vet can advise on the best ways to make sure that your cat is getting enough to eat. She also needs more water than normal, so be sure to leave out some bowls of cool water to drink from throughout the day.  

Sleeping place

Your cat may become more fussy about her sleeping place when she is pregnant. It can be useful to give her a special place to sleep, such as a snuggly box with a soft towel inside. They can find it harder to move and avoid other cats, so it’s good to make sure this place is somewhere that other cats don’t have access to. As the birth becomes closer she may turn this into a “nest” where she will give birth to the kittens. 

Vet checks

It can be a good idea to take your cat to the vet early on to confirm their pregnancy. The vet can ensure that your cat has up to vaccinations, as catching common illnesses such as cat flu can have severe consequences during pregnancy, including death for the mother or kittens. The vet may suggest coming in for a check as the pregnancy progresses, to check that the growth is going as intended. 

In most cases vet support is not required for the birth, but it can be worth having an emergency contact for the vet in case the cat seems to be distressed or one or more kittens gets stuck in the birth canal. This is most common if the pregnant cat is very young and not yet fully grown, as they may have a smaller bone structure. 

Congratulations on the pregnancy of your cat. Be sure to get some advice from your vet (like those at Ivanhoe Veterinary Clinic) to ensure your cat has a smooth and uneventful pregnancy. 

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Understanding Blepharitis in Dogs

Blepharitis is an inflammatory eye condition that affects the connective tissue and outer skin of the eyelids. Some breeds are genetically susceptible to developing blepharitis, including poodles, Labradors, shih tzus, and English bulldogs, but the condition can affect any breed and causes severe discomfort for your dog. Here’s what you need to know about blepharitis in dogs:


Blepharitis in dogs can be caused by any of the following:

  • A bacterial infection often caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria
  • An environmental or food allergy
  • Side effect or reaction to a prescription medication
  • Eye disease such as keratitis or conjunctivitis
  • Tumour or cyst affecting the sebaceous glands
  • Sarcoptic mange infection, which is caused by a parasitic mite


Symptoms of blepharitis in dogs include:

  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes, which may appear watery or contain mucous
  • Flaking skin or crusts around the eyelids
  • Small pimples or a skin rash around the eyes, which may or may not contain pus
  • Blurred vision, which may manifest as clumsiness and a loss of interest in play
  • Thickening of the eyelid skin


Your vet will diagnose blepharitis by taking details of when and how your dog’s symptoms started, examining your dog’s eyes, carrying out blood tests, and collecting a sample of the discharge or skin cells from your dog’s eyes.

Blood tests are used to determine if the inflammatory markers in your dog’s body are elevated, which is indicative of an underlying health problem such as a tumour. They can also be used to establish if your dog is having an allergic reaction or if they have a bacterial infection. Skin cell samples can be tested for parasites and can pinpoint the exact type of bacteria present in cases of blepharitis caused by a bacterial infection.


Treatment for blepharitis is dependent on the underlying cause, but can include:

  • Warm Compresses—Cleaning your dog’s eyes daily with a warm saline solution and soft cotton pads will soften crusts, remove flaking skin and prevent discharge from building up while your dog’s immune system tries to reduce the inflammation around their eyelids.
  • Medication—Topical or oral antibiotics will be required if your dog has a bacterial infection, while anti-parasitic medication will be used to tackle sarcoptic mange. If blepharitis is being caused by an allergic reaction, corticosteroids can be used to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the delicate eye tissue.
  • Diet Modification—If your dog has food allergies, which can develop suddenly even if you haven’t changed their food, your vet will give you advice on how to modify their diet to ensure their nutritional needs are being met without consuming the food that’s causing their symptoms.
  • Surgery—Tumours or cysts affecting the sebaceous glands of your dog’s eyes will have to be surgically removed to enable the eyes to secrete a healthy amount of lubricating oil, which helps keep your dog’s eyes healthy by keeping them moist and clean.

If your dog is displaying any of the listed symptoms of blepharitis, schedule an appointment with a vet clinic such as Cardiff Veterinary Hospital as the condition is easier to treat when addressed early.

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Bedbug Infestation: Impact, Signs and Control

The presence of bedbugs in commercial and residential environments is problematic. These pests are commonly found in hospitality businesses and public transportation. Bedbug populations can grow within a short time so the likelihood of residential infestations after exposure is high. These insects are small and capable of living for long durations without feeding therefore the best way to control a full-on infestation in the home is to detect and control them as early as possible. Here is some useful information on bedbugs and ways to mitigate their negative effects.

Impact of Bedbugs

Bedbugs are essentially nocturnal ectoparasites that feed on human blood but will attack pet mammals when starved. Since they rest during daytime and bite at night, they will be commonly found hidden in the beddings and along the mattress seams. They are not easy to find because they are small and flat so they can remain hidden for a long time. Their bites are considered painless though they usually pierce the skin. The affected spot may become itchy and swollen but some individuals are completely unaffected. They are not known to transmit diseases to humans but they pose a risk for people with bedbug allergies and secondary infections may occur if the affected parts are scratched. Moreover, they are highly annoying and can disrupt sleep if not dealt with immediately.


If you suspect that your home has bedbugs, you should assess the space for signs of their presence. They are difficult to find so it is advisable to hire pest control professionals for thorough inspection. The common signs of the parasites’ presence include the living or dead insects, their moulted skins, spots of faeces and even minute cream eggs. You should always inspect starting with the bedroom area and then other living spaces. Any crevice or crack in the bed and other furniture is a possible hiding spot. Inspect the bed sheets, duvets and mattresses with keen attention to the folded seams. In addition, look beneath wallpapers, between wall and floor cracks and on the mats and rugs.


Good hygiene and diligent housekeeping will not eliminate bedbugs because they can survive in adverse conditions. However, the population can be controlled by washing clothing and beddings in hot water as well as steam cleaning carpets and vacuuming all surfaces and mattresses. These practices should be used in tandem with professional treatment plans from a quality pest control service. Reinfestation often occurs as old eggs mature so several visits will be necessary for lasting elimination of the stubborn pests.For more information, contact All Seasons Carpet Cleaning & Pest Management.

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How to curb obesity in your guinea pig

Guinea pigs are charmers—with their cute faces and squeaks, it’s difficult to resist overfeeding them. The digestive system of the guinea pig is such that it needs to be constantly moving in order for the guinea pig to be in good health and stay alive. So how do you put a guinea pig on a diet if they can’t stop eating?  

Health problems

As with all other creatures, obesity in guinea pigs can be damaging to their health. They are quite fragile creatures and even the smallest thing can overwhelm them. Obesity in guinea pigs can exacerbate:

  • Arthritis.
  • Difficulty eating caecotrophs. Caecotrophs are the soft poos that guinea pigs expel and immediately eat. They boost their immune system, aid their digestion and are an important part of your guinea pig’s health. If a pig is obese, they may struggle to reach their anus to take the caecotroph.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Everyday stress. Guinea pigs are flight animals and extra weight will make it difficult for them to run away quickly, resulting in stress and potentially further breathing troubles and heart attacks.  


If you have an obese pig, you can’t just cut down on their food as this will damage their digestive system. If your piggy is getting dangerously podgy, try these tips.

  • Exercise. Every guinea pig should have ‘floor time’, a specified playtime when they can escape their usual home and go exploring and play in a safe environment. But an obese piggy won’t be interested in playing. So instead make sure you place the food bowl at the opposite end of your pig’s home to its water bottle. Guinea pigs will eat and drink and then go back to eating, so this will mean they have to cover ground to get to each one.  
  • Cut back on the nuggets. Talking of the food bowl, cut back on the amount of nuggets you feed your guinea pig. Even specially formulated guinea pig nuggets (which they should be given) contain fattening ingredients. Good quality hay is the most important part of a guinea pigs diet, so replace any lost nuggets with plenty of hay.  
  • Feed the right vegetables. Fresh vegetables should be given to guinea pigs daily but watch out for the veggies that are high in sugar, such as carrots. Broccoli and cabbage, on the other hand, can cause uncomfortable bloating so try to keep these and the sugary vegetables and fruit as treats and feed sparingly. Bell peppers, which are high in vitamin C, can be fed daily and mixed with romaine lettuce, fresh grass, celery and cucumber. Experiment to see what your pigs like and design a menu for them.  

There is no ideal weight for a guinea pig as each is individual. Speak with a vet like Baw Baw Paws Vet Clinic if you are concerned and they will be able to give you advice and suggestions on how to keep your piggy a healthy weight.

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