It's International Hoof Care Week! Yea...it is an actually internationally recognized week. I may just be a pup with paws, but after hanging around with these people here at Van Beek, I've picked up a couple of things about horse hooves. So in honor of this week, I've come up with 8 Tips that will help you keep your horse's hooves healthy.
1. Be observant. Check your horse's hooves often, looking for signs of oozing or bad smell. Hurt hooves may have puncture wounds, cracks, wedged rocks, abscesses, or bruises.
2. Know the norm. Become familiar with your horse's hooves. Notice the size, shape, temperature, and blemishes. If you know what the hoof usually looks and feels like, it will be easier to spot something abnormal.
3. All about anatomy. Understand the basic hoof structure to know what a horse's hoof should look like. This will also help you notice anything abnormal.
4. Call in the expert. Scheduling regular farrier visits can prevent potential hoof problems and will provide the general hoof maintenance that your horse needs.
5. Good, balanced diet. Make sure your horse's diet is meeting his nutritional needs in protein, vitamins, minerals and calories. If your horse is not eating enough, it may be due to stress from pain in its hooves.
6. Keep in shape. Healthy hooves require consistent exercise on good surfaces to promote and increase circulation to the hooves.
7. Stay out of the mud. Avoid turning out your horse in muddy areas, as hours of standing in deep mud may encourage conditions such as Thrush or Scratches. Also, changing between wet and dry environments can be hard on hooves.
8. Good stable management. Keep the stalls clean and dry, removing soiled shavings as they may have a rotting effect on hooves. I highly recommend using Stall Sorb to soak up moisture and reduce odor.
Remember, a horse's hoof says a lot about its overall health. Healthy hooves, health horse! ...There you have it, straight from the um...dog's mouth.
Brrrrrrrr! After the wonderful spring-like 40-degree weekend, it is hard to get used to these negative temperatures! This kind of day makes me glad I can stay inside most of the time (you know I can't resist chasing any rabbit I see through the snow!)
It is nice that my people take extra precautions in keeping me safe in these cold winter conditions. The 5 B's of Below Zero Weather (or any colder weather) may be good guidelines to follow to keep your pet safe too.
Building - Good shelter is important, especially for a dog that likes to spend time outside. Although a doghouse may be okay in the warmer months, it may be a good idea to let outside dogs or cats inside a barn, insulated building, or maybe even the house when the temperatures dip really low.
Bedding - Dogs like me always know how to give you that "I'll love you if you let me sleep in your bed tonight" kind of look. And cats...well, they just make room in the bed for themselves! Take extra care in bedding your pet in soft, warm bedding that is off the cold floor to keep them extra cozy.
Booties (and other pet clothing) - Sometimes pets, especially the hairless and short hair breeds, may need an extra layer when going outside. Bundle up sensitive paws for extra warmth, to protect against salt, or to keep hair between pads from collecting chunks of ice.
(Extra) Bites of Food - I get pretty hungry after a romp outside. Not only am I exercising, but I'm also trying harder to keep my body warm. I may need a little bit of extra food to keep me going. But watch food intake for those pets that stay indoors more and exercise less during the winter months. Their diet may be fine just the way it is.
Belly rub - Sure I'll take a good belly rub anytime! I always feel especially warm inside when I get a little extra attention.
It's starting to smell a lot like Christmas around here. Everyone has been sharing treats with everyone else, but they won't let me have any...
I really wish I could get my paws on some of those treats! Won't a cute, sad puppy face work on anyone?
Besides all the treats, they also had an ugly sweater contest. I found these pictures laying around the office of everyone who participated. Josh from Production won. He's on the right. Then Rog and Dave on the bottom got second place. They said I was too cute to participate!
I hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday! I'm looking forward to destroying the left over ham bones...
What are you doing to celebrate this Christmas?
I'm so SO very excited for Thanksgiving! All the yummy smells and food. And I've been staring at this delicious looking piece of pumpkin pie...
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!
What are you doing for the holiday?
Although most of my friends are pretty healthy, some of them have gone through some pretty tough stuff. It makes me wonder if somehow their people could have helped prevent an extensive surgery or diabetes treatment.
So for all the pet parents out there, I've come up with 10 Ways to keep your pet healthy in order to prevent treatment situations.
1. The unavoidable topic: spay or neuter - Yea, I don't really like to talk about this, but it is the best thing to do in order to prevent cancers and behavioral problems. Plus, the puppies (and kittens) that we may have are not always wanted by other parents.
2. Something good to eat - Good food and nutrition are important no matter how old I get. Buy foods that have higher quaity ingredients and good nutrients. And no matter how long I beg, it probably isn't good for me to have people food or table scraps. Even better, add a suppliment to my diet. Synacore is a good one to start with. It is chuck full of good probiotics, enzymes, prebiotics and vitamins.. and so yummy!
3. Does my fur make me look fat - Obesity in pets is becoming a common problem as well as diabetes, arthritis, spinal diseases, and liver disease. If your pet is overweight, reduce the calories with less food or a lower calorie food. It may be a good idea to weigh you pet every so often to keep them on track.
4. Showing my teeth - As much as your pet puts up a fight about getting his teeth cleaned, regular dental care can really make a difference. It helps stop tartar buildup, which can lead to bad breath, internal organ problems, infected teath, and bleeding gums. Of course I'm going to recommend dental chews and tartar control treats! Plus, you should (try) to brush your pet's teeth 1-2 times per week and professionally clean ever 1-2 years.
5. Those nasty pests - Fleas and ticks can cause allergies, lyme disease, and can make us really uncomfortable. There are several easy and convenient once-a-month treatments for fleas and ticks. And remember to check us after going into wooded areas, or just avoid those areas all together.
6. A gut feeling - Always be aware of symptoms of intestinal parasites such as diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain. Make sure your pet has been tested for all kinds of parasites including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.
7. Take it to heart - Heartworms are life-thretening parasites that live in the heart and larger blood vessels of dogs. They can cause huge problems like heart failure, heart disease, liver failure, and kidney failure. Make sure your dog is treated and tested for heartworm at his annual check up.
8. On my best behavior - Behavior problems can affect anyone your pet comes in contact with. They can be avoided by good training. And, if your pet is like me, you may need a professional! But before you look into that, make sure we have all the stuff we need to behave best. For instance, cats prefer their own litter box in a clean area that they can easily get to, and it may be best to have a scratching post if you want to keep your couch.
9. Lost and found - Because we are curious creatures at heart, you may want to keep us locked in the yard or kennel when you are away. Microchip is an easy way to keep track of us if we do wander off. Cats can get a little stir crazy indoors all day, so take them out every so often so they get used to it. Otherwise, they'll flee whenever the door opens!
10. A once-a-year check up (...that's in people years, not dog years) - Bring your pet in annually so the veterinarian can give vaccinations (ouch!), check for early signs of disease, and prescribe any testing or treatment. You can find a veterinarian in your area here!
With these tips, your pet should be in tiptop shape...ready to roll in the grass and play and catch frisbees and all that fun stuff!
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I'm a yellow Labrador Retriever livin' in Orange City, Iowa. I was just adopted into the Van Beek Natural Science family. Everyone here is pretty cool. I'm really REALLY happy to be here, watchin' out for my new people.