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Matt Young's blog


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Why have the fleas been so bad this season?

This summer we have had perfect conditions for rapid development of fleas. Flea eggs layed into the environment develop rapidly through the cycle to the pupal stage under warm, moist conditions. In order for pupae to hatch and jump onto animals they need three things:

a flea

  1. Warmth
  2. Humidity
  3. Vibrations. These allow the flea to know there is an animal around so it needs to hatch and jump on.

The past few seasons have been quite dry so while fleas have occurred conditions have not been optimal so many of the pupae have sat there and not hatched. The perfect flea environment this year has allowed the fleas to finally take off.

What can I do to prevent this from happening again next spring?

Things are about to cool down as we come into autumn and winter. As they do the flea life cycle will slow and we will all see reduced numbers of fleas on our pets. Fleas may not be as visible during the winter months, however, your lounge, rugs and floors could be home to flea pupae that are waiting out the cooler months in comfort before the warmer weather prompts them to emerge as adult fleas. Flea numbers may be reduced but remember that 1 flea can lay up to 600 eggs in their lifetime. Stopping flea control over winter will result in a buildup of pupae that will lay dormant until the weather warms up.

Missing monthly flea treatments allows fleas to build up in the environment.

Your home is always at risk of flea contamination from sources that you can’t always control. Other animals (such as neighbourhood cats or wild rabbits) that have access to your garden or home may all be on-going sources of flea egg contamination. This means that if monthly flea treatments are missed, there’s a good chance your pet will pick up an infestation from the environment sooner or later. So it’s important to treat all dogs and cats in your home for fleas, every month, all year round with a recommended flea treatment.

Tips to Help Your Dog to Cope with Fireworks or Thunderstorms

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Is your dog scared of fireworks or thunderstorms?

A scared dog hiding away

Phobias to loud noises such as fireworks are very common and often get worse as the animal ages. Early intervention is the key to stopping it becoming a serious problem. Comforting your pet (the natural response) is actually the wrong thing to do as it rewards the dog for behaving anxiously.

Here are some tips to help them cope:

  • Ensure your dog is safely inside and secure the doors, windows and cat flaps.
  • Allow your dog to hide in a bolt-hole or den where they feel safe. You can further increase this feeling of security by plugging in a DAP® diffuser or using DAP® spray (this can be sprayed onto a bandanna tied around your dog’s neck or sprayed onto their bedding to give them additional support). DAP is a pheromone that has a calming effect. Adaptil Collars are now available which have the DAP impregnated on them. They are a great option for outdoor dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing an identification tag on their collar. If they do escape, frightened animals can easily get lost.
  • In the few days before the fireworks and on the night walk your dog early in the evening.
  • Close all doors, windows and draw the curtains, play music and/or have the tv on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your pet. A dog may pick up on your anxiety or feel they are being rewarded and this can make the problem worse.
  • Don’t get angry with or punish your pet, regardless of their behaviour. It will only make them more distressed.
  • Try not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off. Pets may hurt themselves or cause damage when not supervised.

If your dog has alot of anxiety

If your pet has shown severe anxiety before such as trying to escape, or actually escaping, have hurt themselves or have put themselves in danger, your dog needs to be medicated. Arrange a visit to have your dog assessed for the use of anti-anxiety medications.

Pretty plant but it's toxic- Brunfelsia (aka Yesterday- Today- Tomorrow)

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brunsflesia bonodora flowers

Do You have this plant in your yard?

brunfelsia flowers with purple shades and white flowers

This is a species of Brunfelsia which goes by the common name of Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow.

While Driving around Dapto I have noticed that more and more people have this plant it their yard. It has beautiful purple flowers that then change to white. There are lots of varieties which vary in their shape and height but there is one thing they all share in common- they are toxic to dogs.

How do the dogs get poisoned

For some reason dogs like to eat this plant. They will eat the leaves, branches, cuttings, flowers and seeds. When they ingest it they develop diarrhoea, salivation and neuroloical changes such as twitching, seizures and this can in some cases lead to death.


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