Details for TECH CULTURE

My puppy has worms; now what?

B

ringing
a new
puppy
home can be an
exciting time
that’s full of
challenges. Change also is part of
welcoming a new puppy into the
family.
Puppies rely on their owners to
meet all of their needs, and it can
take weeks for a pup to acclimate
to a new home and adapt to a
routine.
New puppy parents may be
surprised to learn their puppy —
particularly one rescued from a
shelter — has parasitic worms.
This is a common occurrence.
According to a report published
in the journal Animals, the
prevalence of gastrointestinal
parasites in shelter dogs is typically
higher than in owned dogs. This
is due to the combination of daily
admissions of dogs from diverse
backgrounds and the difficulty
of preventing environmental
contamination with infectious
parasitic developmental stages.
Shelters provide favorable
conditions for the establishment
and spread of GI parasitic
infections.

Worms are
transmitted in
various ways, and
many result from
pups walking
through the infected
waste of other dogs.
Some dogs ingest
contaminated feces
or develop infections
after being in an
environment where
there is a buildup
of waste and poor
sanitation. The
American Kennel
Club says worms also
can be passed from
an infected mother to
her unborn puppies
in-utero or through nursing.
By and large, worms are not
something that should be
terribly concerning. With the
right treatment and preventative
care, most parasitic worms,
like roundworms, hookworms,
heartworms, and whipworms, can
be treated effectively. However,
if left untreated, worms can
compromise the health of a puppy,
potentially contributing to anemia,
low weight/poor growth, diarrhea,
and inflammation.

Some symptoms of worms
include:
• pot belly appearance
• vomiting
• coughing
• weight loss
• diarrhea
• abdominal pain
• visual confirmation
of worms in stool
A veterinarian can walk new pet
parents through deworming their
young dogs. Medications produce
results in a matter of hours and
will immobilize worms in the

digestive tract before they’re
soon expelled. It may take a few
treatments to get a handle on
the problem. In addition, vets
will likely want to examine stool
samples on an ongoing basis to
ensure all immature and fully
formed worms are gone.
To prevent future outbreaks, clean up
pet waste in the yard frequently and
administer a monthly heartworm
medication with a generalized
deworming agent for other parasites.
Learn more about worms and new
puppy care at www.akc.org.

Safely take dogs
Why it pays to use
for wilderness walks
crates
when
training
puppies

P

uppies
make great additions to
a household. Parents often find
that dogs can teach youngsters
lessons about compassion and
responsibility, while moms and
dads enjoy the companionship
and unconditional love their
dogs provide.
As first-time dog owners learn
shortly after bringing their
puppies home, pets require a
lot of work. That’s especially
true of puppies, which must be
housebroken so they can learn
to live within the structure of
a family. Crate training, which
is supported by the American
Kennel Club, is a great way to
teach puppies proper behaviors
and to get them to adjust to
their new lives.
Many dog owners, particularly
those who have never before
had a dog, may hesitate to
employ crates to train their
puppies. That’s understandable,
as on the surface it can seem
cruel or inhumane to confine
a living animal to a cage.
However, the AKC notes that

dogs are den animals
that naturally seek out
canine caves for security.
That’s true whether dog
owners provide crates for
their puppies or not. So while
humans may see crates as cruel,
dogs very likely view their crates
as secure places where they
can go if they get scared or feel
skittish. In fact, according to the
AKC, dogs’ perception of crates
is one reason why dog owners
typically find it relatively easy to
get their dogs to adjust to crates
and ultimately enjoy them.
The AKC urges dog owners
who plan to crate train their
puppies to find appropriatelysized crates before they begin
training. Crates should be
just large enough for dogs to
lie down, stand up and turn
around. Dogs won’t embrace
crates that are too small, and
crates that are too big will
give dogs the impression that
they can use one corner to
defecate and use the rest for
sleep or play. That’s the wrong
message to send, as dogs should
never be encouraged to relieve
themselves in their crates.
Crate training can be invaluable
when welcoming puppies into a
home. Learn more at www.akc.
org.

H

iking is a rewarding, healthy
activity that can help people
connect with nature. Walks
in the wilderness also present perfect
opportunities to get the family dog out
for some fresh air.

When walking dogs in wooded areas,
pet owners must exercise caution to
protect their dogs, themselves and
fellow nature lovers.
• Confirm leash policies. When
walking dogs in public settings, it’s
always best to keep them on a leash.
Many areas even have laws that
mandate dogs be kept on leashes at all
times. If you hope to walk a dog offleash, visit the park or wooded area
ahead of time or contact your local
parks department to determine the
laws governing the area.
• Recognize the benefits of leashes.
Even if you’re not legally obligated to
keep the dog on a leash while walking
through the woods, the benefits of
doing so are numerous. Keeping your
dogs on a leash makes it easier for
you and your dog to get away if you
encounter something unexpected,
like a coyote or a bear. It’s also easier
to keep your dog on the walking path
and out of brush or bushes, where
ticks or other bugs might attach
themselves to the dog and ultimately
put its health in jeopardy.
• Apply tick repellant. Even dogs
that stay on walking paths in wooded

areas are vulnerable to ticks. That
vulnerability increases their owners’
susceptibility to ticks as well, as ticks
that attach to dogs may eventually
bite the dogs’ owners. Flea and tick
collars can effectively deter ticks from
feasting on dogs. Owners also should
apply tick repellant to themselves
before entering wooded areas.
• Bring water and treats. Hikers bring
extra water and food along during a
hike to satisfy any hunger pangs they
have while walking and to ensure
they have some sustenance should
they get lost. The same precautionary
measures are necessary for dogs. Pack
a portable water bowl and extra water
for your pooch so the dog does not
become dehydrated during the walk.
Some healthy, energy-boosting snacks
can help dogs withstand lengthy hikes
as well.
• Recognize signs that the dog needs
to turn around and go home. Heavy
panting, a slow gait and repeated
efforts to lay down are signs that dogs
have grown tired. Monitor your dog’s
energy levels and turn around or
return to your vehicle at the first sign a
dog is running out of gas.
Wilderness walks provide great
opportunities to get dogs exercise and
fresh air. Some simple precautionary
measures can ensure such walks are
enjoyable for everyone.

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