– There are very few things that are directly contagious between dogs and humans, particularly if you follow normal hygiene practices and wash your hands after playing and before eating. However, let’s face it dogs do eat things from the ground and tend to carry things on their coats. So what do you need to worry about and what should you use to protect your puppy?
The best-known and most dangerous of all worms is the heartworm. Heartworms are transmitted through a mosquito bite, so even indoor dogs can get heartworm disease. The problem is often not evident until it is well-established and difficult to treat, so this is certainly one situation where prevention is much better than cure. A monthly preventative or yearly injection will protect your pet, just be aware that not all ‘allwormers’ protect against heartworm too. Usually if the preventative is given monthly, it will cover both intestinal worms and heartworm, like Interceptor or Milbemax.
There are a few other different types of worms that can be picked up from the ground or ingested via foraging or eating raw meat. Some are also contagious to humans such as roundworm and tapeworm, particularly if your puppy licks his bottom, then your face! Treat your pet every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every 3 months. This will keep you, your puppy and the kids safe. It is also advisable to treat your family every 3 months with a worming tablet.
If you live on the east coast of Australia, you may have heard about the paralysis tick, that can literally paralyse your dog within a few days. There are also around 75 other species of ticks in Australia that can carry disease and cause blood loss and irritation. Ticks tend to be carried in by wildlife or cattle. Checking your pets daily for tick by rubbing down their coats can help you catch them early. In terms of preventives, there is now a fantastic new treatment called Bravecto that covers your pet for 3 months against paralysis ticks and also combats fleas too!
There are two main mites that dogs can pick up and will make them super itchy, the sarcoptes and demodex mites. If your dog is itching madly and losing hair, get them to the vet to check for mites. Revolution or Advocate can be applied to treat mites. Though usually your dog doesn’t necessarily need routine protection from them, unless you live in an area with lots of mangy wombats!
Fleas are a big cause of itching and scratching in both indoor and outdoor dogs. The female flea can lay 50 eggs a day, so you can get huge numbers very quickly should you use an ineffective flea treatment. Unfortunately there is lots of bad information out there on how to protect your pet from fleas and some dangerous and very ineffective ‘natural’ remedies on the internet. Stick to effective products from your vet or a reputable pet shop and don’t waste your time on apple cider vinegar, garlic (which is toxic!), flea collars, shampoos or powders, or any of those cheap supermarket treatments. For more information on how to tackle fleas, visit here.
We hope you enjoy your time with your new puppy, what a wonderful future journey you have ahead of you. With a few precautions that future can be free of weird little creepy crawlies too!
Editor’s note: This article has been contributed by a guest author. The opinions and statements expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the Daily Dog or pups4sale teams.