Many of our clients’ dogs spend a lot of time on the farm. These wonderful and hard-working dogs rarely leave the property and provide companionship year-round. Here are some common yet potentially fatal hazards that farm dog owners should be aware of:
1) Eating rat poison causes blood to stop clotting and the dog can die from blood loss.
2) Anti-freeze from a car is a sweet liquid that can cause fatal kidney failure if ingested.
3) The slow-release coccidiostat bolus is a product intended for the stomach of dairy cows – if a dog chews on this plastic device, it could receive a lethal dose of drug that will paralyze them.
We at Mitchell Vet Services don’t recommend that you let your dog ride in the bed of your truck or on four-wheelers. We have seen trauma, including broken bones, as a result of dogs falling out or jumping out of a moving vehicle. Farm dogs are also at a higher risk of being hit by a car, especially if they are free-roaming. Male dogs are sexually mature by 6 months of age and desperately want to find a mate. Spaying and neutering can discourage your dog from roaming behaviour. Consider a fencing system or kennel to keep your dog away from the road as well.
Farm dogs need access to shelter from extreme weather. Hypothermia can occur in very cold or windy temperatures and these pets may require heating pads or heating lamps. On the other extreme, in the summer with hot weather, farm dogs with thick coats may need to be groomed to prevent heat stroke. Having a small kid pool with cool water would allow your pet to jump in to cool down as well.
Rabies, Distemper and Leptospirosis are higher risk diseases for farm dogs as they are exposed to wildlife. Proper vaccinations can provide protection from these diseases.
Farm dogs deserve the best care we can give them. Prevent potential hazards so they can enjoy farm life and all the fun that comes with it!