Boy I am happy to see the snow starting to melt. My kong does not work well in the snow! I do get to do a great deal of digging to find it though, so things are not all bad. I now have a young step brother – a 20 week old Golden no less – and he loves to dig and eat stuff. He eats more things that I would just never imagine a dog could eat. My dad says this can pose some real problems for the stomach and intestines.
The melting snow reveals many exciting things for my step brother to eat and chew on. My dad says this time of year is a big time for many cases of vomiting and diarrhea for just that reason. Many dogs are like my Golden step brother and eat anything that smells kind of rotten or just has an interesting texture in the mouth. These things by themselves can cause problems such as getting stuck in the teeth, mouth or throat, blocking the stomach or bowel, and can cause much discomfort or real stress for the dogs and owners! In some cases the object itself moves through fine but it carries some foreign bacteria into the stomach or bowels. Once there it can cause some pretty nasty vomiting and or diarrhea.
My dad also says that certain parasites and some viral disease that have been waiting during the cold winter season, start to become a problem in the spring. The warmer weather encourages these agents to become infective, so when my step brother is gobbling down grass and such he might be ingesting some of these as well! I wish my dad good luck trying to keep him from doing that type of stuff. My kong may look dirty and smell bad (to you humans), but it doesn’t have any diseases !
My dad says keeping us canines well vaccinated and using proper deworming strategies will help prevent some of the problems that can arise from this type of eating behaviour. However, there are many things that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and one solution does not always treat every dog. My dad says it is best to contact your veterinarian about your specific dog and his or her problem, so a unique plan can be made to get them better faster. Sometimes this means medications or a trip to the hospital, but sometimes just a rest of the gut and some time will cure the problem.
As I watch my step brother chewing on a large stick he dug up somewhere, I think it is going to be a long spring! I am happy to have my kong to keep me company as I watch the entertainment he provides.
Have a great spring, and chew safely and wisely!