Keeping Your Dog Safe
On this page: What to do if your dog is barking, some tips for Guys Fawkes and why sheep measles is an issue.
Dogs bark for various reasons such as attention seeking, cold, hunger or loneliness. The main cure is time and patience. If you can correct the reason for the barking, the dog will settle down.
Cold or hungry - change the environment to make it content. Feed the dog, give it a warm dry place to sleep, keep it close to you and, if it is a puppy, put a loud clock in its bed. This will sound like company.
Attention seeking - if you growl the dog each time it barks it gets the attention it wants and will continue to bark. Unpleasant results increase the dog's anxiety and result in the dog seeking more attention. Observe its behaviour, say 'no', or 'bad dog' as it is about to bark. This will break its attention. Call the dog, say 'sit' and 'stay', then reward it for its good behaviour.
Denning Principle - if the dog barks when you are out give it a small den such as a bathroom or laundry. Feed the dog in there so it always feels positive about the room. Give the dog a bone or biscuit when you shut it away when leaving the house. This method works well for training pups and when you are away routinely.
Keeping your dog (or cat) safe at Guy Fawkes
Fireworks can be terrifying for your pets. Here are some tips on how to make it a bit less stressful.
Keep pets inside: Give your dog extra exercise during the day and allow it to go to the toilet before securing it inside
Block all exits: Especially for cats – make sure all cat doors are locked and your cat is inside before dark.
Minimise noise: Close the curtains to soften the noise and the light effects from fireworks. Turn on the TV or radio to muffle the noise from fireworks.
Provide somewhere safe: Make sure your pet has extra bedding to help them feel secure or make a special place, such as under a bed, for them to hide.
Distraction: Give your dog or cat something to play with to distract them from the noise.
Help them stay calm: Talk to your vet about products that can help with anxiety during this stressful time.
Make pets identifiable: As well as its registration tag, make sure your dog is wearing some form of ID.
The Gore District has a strong rural link and the spread of sheep measles by dogs is an issue. We encourage dog owners to find out how they can prevent the spread of this disease.
Why is this an issue?
While sheep measles does not infect or cause disease in humans, they are considered defects and undesirable by local and overseas customers. Each year farmers suffer financial loss as a result of lambs being condemned or downgraded for sheep measles.
How is sheep measles spread?
Dogs become infected by eating raw sheep or goat meat, including the heart, infected with live cysts. A tapeworm develops in the intestine of the dog in approximately 35 days. Infected dogs pass many thousands of eggs in their faeces contaminating pasture grazed by sheep and goats. There are no outward signs that your dog has a tapeworm.
How can sheep measles be prevented?
All dogs residing on sheep farmland must be dosed every month with Praziquantel. If you are not regularly taking dogs near farmland, you can still do your part by dosing all dogs with Praziquantel at least 48 hours prior to arrival.
For more information go to www.sheepmeasles.co.nz.