Many of us would agree that there are few things nicer on a hot summer’s day than a trip to the beach, and as long as you come prepared there is no reason to leave your pooch at home. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for dogs, and you can stay as long as you like without having to worry about getting home to let the dog out!
There are however a few things you need to do before you leave, and some things that are good to know when it comes to dogs and the beach. Here are our best tips for a successful outing!
Find a dog-friendly beach
Dogs are not always allowed on public beaches, but there is normally an area close-by where you can take your dog. Search for a dog-friendly beach nearby, read up on the rules, and make sure you follow them!
Keep an eye on your dog
Even if you’re at a dog-friendly beach you must always keep an eye on your dog, and show consideration to the other beach goers and dog owners. No one appreciates being sprayed with water from a wet dog as they’re relaxing with a good book! If you’re not absolutely sure your dog will come when you call or stay close to you, it might be best to keep it on the lead.
You also have to make sure your dog stays safe at the beach. Dogs are amazing at finding things in the sand that might not be good for them, everything from leftover barbecue ingredients to rotting fish. Glass, sharp shells, or even old fish hooks may hide in the sand, and can hurt your dog’s precious paws.
Teach your dog to swim
Many believe that all dogs know how to swim, but that is not the case. Even if all dogs will automatically paddle their feet if you put them in the water, there are several dog breeds that aren’t built to float. Breeds with large heads and short legs will struggle to keep their head over the surface to breathe. If your dog seems to love swimming but you’re not completely sure about their ability, it might be a good idea to invest in a doggy life jacket.
That being said, there are lots of dogs that don’t really enjoy the water, or who will be perfectly happy running around in the shallow parts where they don’t have to swim. Never force a dog to come swimming with you!
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s important for you as an owner to keep an eye on them as they’re out in the water. Make sure you stay informed about currents in the water, and don’t let the dog in if there are high waves or lots of boats or jet skis around. Dogs can easily get too excited in the water and swim out into deep waters, where the current might be much stronger. You also have to supervise dogs playing and swimming with children.
Make sure you pack everything you need for a day at the beach. Dogs will need plenty of fresh water, so get enough for the whole family. It’s a good idea to have a collapsible water bowl, so you don’t have to make your dog drink straight from the bottle. This way you can also keep track of how much water the dog has actually had.
Bring dog toys that will entertain your dog throughout the day. If you’re able to throw balls or other toys down the beach, that is a perfect activity that will entertain your dogs, and give it a good amount of exercise. Just make sure the toys float if they end up in the water.
If you’re staying at the beach for a few hours, or maybe even the whole day, it’s important to make sure the dog can get some shade. If you’re not sure whether there are shaded areas where you’re going or not, bring a parasol or a small beach tent where the dog can relax during the hottest hours of the day. You could even bring a dog cooling mat to keep them comfy throughout the day.
Before you leave
Make sure you leave nothing behind, and clean up after yourself and your dog!
If there are taps or beach showers where you are, you might want to rinse your dog before you leave for the day. Salt can cause irritation to the dog’s skin, and sand can get in their eyes as they’re trying to get rid of it from their faces, which can cause eye infections and lots of discomfort. The dog will probably also have been exposed to plenty of dirt and bacteria during all the exploring.
If you can’t find any fresh water at the beach, it might be a good idea to scrub your dog with a towel before you get in the car (maybe mainly to not end up with a desert in the trunk), and then give him or her a quick bath when you get home.
This entry was posted in Dogs
A familiar problem for both backyard chicken keepers and commercial farms lies in how to prevent and treat infestations of the birds’ environment with red (poultry) mites – also known as dermanyssus gallinae. Compared to other poultry parasites such as fowl ticks, lice and flies – mites are by far the most common, destructive and difficult to remove. Red mites are nocturnal parasites and hide themselves in gaps and cracks during the day, laying wait to wreak havoc on your flock at night.
Signs and diagnosis
Red mites are up to 1mm in size. The title “red” has been given to these mites because they turn from gray to red after they have had a blood meal. Infected hens will not be the picture of chicken health. Once the infestation becomes significant, your chickens will become anemic. Their wattles and the combs will appear pale and their egg production will drop significantly. Red mites also cause:
- Skin irritation
- Feather pecking
- Weight loss
- Restlessness in the flock
Your chickens will also probably be reluctant to go into their coop at night because that’s where the mites are lying in wait.
When checking your chicken coop for red mites, be sure to also check their perches or other chicken coop and run accessories. An easy way to check for red mites is by rubbing a white paper towel underneath the perches at night. If there are red mites, they will be on the underside of the perch after feeding on your chickens – you’ll see red streaks on your paper towel after coming into contact with them.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But, when it comes to red mites, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Wild birds or new chickens can transmit red mites to your flock. Check your chickens’ health regularly to make sure all flock members are feeling their best.
It’s also a good idea to check for red mites routinely when you clean your chicken coop and use some preventative measures. Diatomaceous earth as part of the weekly clean is helpful in preventing and killing mites (DE is a 100% natural powder which dehydrates parasites it comes into contact with). All types of chicken coops can get red mites – however wooden coops tend to experience the most infestations.
Unfortunately, red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house, so leaving a coop empty for a while doesn’t usually fix the problem. Choosing your housing carefully can help prevent infestations Omlet’s Eglu chicken coops are made from plastic which makes it very difficult for red mites to make a home. And in the event that there is a red mite infestation, they are quick and easy to clean. A quick blast with a pressure washer will be enough to send the mites packing.
6 Ways to treat red mites
If you find lots of red mites in the coop, it’s time for a deep clean. This type of cleaning will take several hours with a wooden chicken coop, but significantly less time with a plastic chicken coop. Remove all hens from the coop and strip it down as much as possible. Clean each part individually and allow for the coop and parts to dry completely.
2. Mite disinfectant detergent
Mix a mite disinfectant detergent (such as Smite Professional Disinfectant 1L Concentrate or Barrier Red Mite X 500ml Concentrate) with water (using the manufacturer’s guidelines). Apply this to the coop, ensuring you get it in the cracks and crevices. Omlet’s Eglu chicken coops don’t have these awkward and accommodating spaces, making red mites much easier to control. Concentrate your efforts where there is the highest population of red mites. Leave for 15-20 minutes.
3. High-pressure hose
Use a hose (preferably a pressure washer) to hose down the coop and the parts. Try to get in every nook and cranny, as this is where the mites like to hide. Leave for 10-15 minutes to dry. After this, you will most probably see more agitated mites crawling out. Repeat this process until there are very few mites emerging after each wash. Eglu chicken coops are made of heavy-duty plastic and are designed to be pressure washed with ease. One pressure wash will be enough to eradicate any existing mite population.
Leave the coop to thoroughly dry. It’s ideal to perform coop cleanings on a sunny day where UV rays can kill some of the bacteria. Put the coop back together and add bedding. Dispose of the old bedding in a plastic bag in the garbage – red mites will happily find somewhere else to live if given the opportunity.
5. Red mite powder
Sprinkle your entire coop and your chickens with a red mite powder. Ensure you rub the powder onto the perches so that any remaining mites will have to crawl through it to reach your chickens.
6. Repeat red mite powder treatment
Re-apply the red mite powder every couple of days or when it has rubbed off. Red mites are primarily active during mild weather, making peak seasons the spring and fall. They will lie dormant throughout the rest of the year, waiting for their next opportunity to emerge.
Preventing red mites with Omlet
Any chicken coop can fall victim to red mites, but with any easy-to-clean plastic chicken coop, you’ll be able to nip infestations in the bud. Our chicken perches can be removed easily for a thorough cleaning, and our plastic Chicken Swing offers a mite-resistant place to find relief. Don’t fall prey to red mites – take control with Omlet’s chicken products.
This entry was posted in Chickens
This entry was posted in Dogs