No matter where your dog walks - whether they are a mountain hiker, a forest lover or an urban explorer, they are at risk of contracting parasites - fleas, ticks and worms. Knowing the signs, and taking action, is the best way to combat them and keep your pet as healthy as possible!
Worms are internal parasites - the most common ones to affect dogs are roundworms and tapeworms.
Occasionally your dog can pass the worms, or parts of them, in their faeces - but other than this it can be hard to spot the signs of a worm infestation, especially in healthy adult dogs. When symptoms do occur, they include weight loss, lethargy, changes to the coat and inappetence.
If you suspect, or your dog has visible signs of, an infestation, treat them with an appropriate worming treatment. Following this, some companies offer worm counts. Put simply, they test your dog's poo for worms and allow you to treat them accordingly.
One of the most popular holistic approaches is to feed hairy products - such as hairy rabbit ears. The fur is indigestible - and acts as a natural dewormer, by mechanically scraping the inside of the intestines as it passes through the dog. Whilst not 100% effective, feeding hairy treats is a delicious way to keep the worm burden in your pet low!
A single flea can live for as little as 2 weeks to over a year, and an adult female can lay up to 50 eggs a day - resulting in 1500 new fleas in a lifetime. There are 4 stages to a flea's life cycle - egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The easiest way to check for fleas is to brush your pet with a fine-toothed comb - finding live fleas, or black dirt close to the skin is a sure sign your dog needs treating. Commercial flea treatments - such as spot-on and tablets - only kill adult fleas. When dealing with an infestation it is equally important to treat the home, by vacuuming regularly, washing bedding and using spray treatments for hard-to-wash furnishings, such as sofas. There are several holistic approaches to preventing fleas, feeding your dogs a small amount of garlic - our beef and garlic sausages are perfect for this!