Pets at Work: The Pros and Cons

Have you ever felt guilty about leaving your pet at home alone when you go to work? While not every workplace is pet-friendly, there are exceptions to having pets at work that should be considered.

How Can Pets be Relevant in Your Daily Work Activities?

First of all, regardless of whether you think yourself more as a cat or a dog person, pets offer a feeling of relaxation to their owners that can certainly ease the daily pressures of work. Nurturing and looking after an animal offers a therapeutic effect relieving stress and creating a more positive environment.

Having a pet around the office means there is potential for a significant boost to productivity. Moods can be improved with a pet present and they can be a great reminder to take a break when you need to, leaving you more focused when you have to return to work.

Having a pet around while on the job can help out you and your co-workers as well. Bonding between pet owners happens naturally and encourages conversations between everyone at home, so why shouldn’t that be the case at work as well? It also helps if conversation on your part is tough to do in the first place; having a pet present can be a real ice-breaker.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, and even solopreneurs may even want to build their brand around being a service or company that not only respects pets but also cannot function without them. Companies such as Workday not only encourage their employees to bring their pets in to work but also insist upon it. Even Google has taken note of these benefits, establishing and encouraging a working environment that thrives on creativity and engagement while pets are present and supervised.

The Downsides of Pets at Work

For every pro to having a pet-friendly workplace there are cons as well. For instance, your co-workers may have an allergy to pets that will harm their work performance and decrease efficiency while on the job. Some pets may misbehave and grind productivity to a halt instead of the other way round while in an office. Some companies you work for may have a zero-pets policy in place anyway, and bringing a pet despite this policy could actually harm you and your company’s reputation – especially if it’s a restaurant!

So are Pets at Work a Good Idea or Not?

It all depends on where you work and the policies present at your company. We do not recommend bringing your pet to work where cooking and handling food for people is a daily task, nor do we recommend bringing your pet to your office if it’s not permitted. Aside from these situations, a pet can offer a sense of companionship to your work life.

Being alone in a cubicle, day in day out, can make you a little stir crazy! But having a little furry critter to lie at your feet as you work at your computer offers something to have a little chat with, even if he or she might not answer back!

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Pet Care Tips to Keep Them Safe from Dangerous Tick Bites

Finding a tick anywhere on your pet makes for a bad day! Knowing how to keep your pet tick-free is great preventative pet care in that it keeps everyone safe from dangerous diseases transmitted by tick bites. You should also know what to do if your efforts fail and you find a tick attached to your pet’s skin.

It is important to use the right safeguards, inspect your pet for ticks after he or she has been outdoors, and consult your veterinarian right away if one of these nasty little brutes latches on to them.

Tick Bites Can Cause Your Pet Serious Harm

Ticks are parasites that can be found in city parks, forest and meadow areas, and your own backyard. Many pet owners don’t take tick warnings seriously enough and rely on simple tick and flea collars to keep their pets safe, only to have their beloved pets infected with terrible diseases carried by a variety of ticks.

Lyme disease, for example, is just as debilitating for pets as it is for people, and is becoming more and more widespread in BC. Other parasitic diseases, such as anaplasmosis, can be terrible, too, and the symptoms are often difficult to diagnose.

Use good preventative measures to keep your pet safe, and see that your lawns, bushes, and trees are trimmed to reduce the tick population in your yard. Keeping your dog or cat indoors during the height of the tick season can help, and be sure and check your pets carefully for ticks after outdoor exercise or playtime.

A Veterinarian is the Best Person to Remove a Tick

You can find instructions for removing ticks from pets, but nothing quite prepares you for the dangers of attempting this job yourself:

  • It’s difficult to get your pet to remain motionless—which they must be—while you do the job.
  • If you leave any part of the tick behind, you must take your pet to a veterinarian to dig it out.
  • Gloves must be worn for your own safety.
  • If the insect is twisted or squeezed while being removed, reaction to the embedded tick parts can cause discomfort and infection.

Play it safe and take your pet to a veterinarian for help.

There are a Variety of Preventative Measures to Use against Ticks

Work with your veterinarian to come up with the best kind of pet care plan to protect your little friend. Pets that live outside or are used to running free over large territories or that you take with you on camping trips in the wilds are more at risk from tick bites than homebodies. However, even a pet that is indoors most of the time can pick up a tick bite almost anywhere outside.

Here are some of the Standard Safeguards:

  1. Topical medication – Such products work very well but you must choose carefully and follow all directions faithfully. Many products such as Advantix and Revolution are available through veterinarians and pet stores; it is best to use a veterinary approved product. Ask your veterinarian for advice and assistance with these products as they vary in the spectrum of the ticks they cover. Your vet can help you determine what product is best suited to your pet based on their size, lifestyle, and so on.
  2. Oral medication – These products are safe and effective protection against ticks and fleas, and should be administered by your veterinarian. These are almost as effective as topical medication and are very useful for dogs who love water! Whether they are to be applied once a month depends on the product; most can be applied once a month such as Simparica and Nexgard, but there is a once-every-3-months product available called Bravecto. Again, consult your veterinarian on which oral products would best suit your pet.
  3. Tick shampoos – Medicated ingredients in a tick shampoo will kill ticks, but this is not the best plan for either your cat or dog because their effectiveness doesn’t last very long. The aforementioned products (topical and oral) are much better and safer preventative products.

Keep your pet tick-free and safe with proven tick-bite preventative measures. Check them after they’ve been outdoor during the height of tick season and, if your pet has the misfortune to be bitten in spite of your efforts, get professional help to remove the horrible little disease-carrying pest.

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Flea Prevention Tips for Springtime

Hooray for Spring! Flowers are blooming, the grass is green again, and you can take your pet out for a walk in sunnier weather. Unfortunately, the other thing that has sprung up with the season are fleas, ticks, and all other kinds of parasites that we don’t want going anywhere near our pets – or us!

Whether you live out in the more rural parts of Delta or in an apartment in downtown Vancouver, fleas can still crop up and appear in the open fields and dog parks you may want to bring your pooch to. We could fill an entire book about all of the pests that emerge during this time of the year, but today we’ll just focus on fleas as far as cat and dog parasite prevention is concerned.

So, without further ado, here are some flea prevention tips for your dog, cat, or both.

Tip 1: Learn How Fleas Get Around

The perks of being a flea – much to all of our dismay – is how teeny-tiny they are in size and how easy it is for them to find and latch on to pets. They may not have wings, but their back legs more than make up for how efficiently they jump around.

When they find a good place to nestle in your dog or cat’s fur, these little bloodsuckers – literally! – will suck up your pet’s blood, causing that obvious itchy bump to appear on your pet’s skin. During the time they spend attached to your poor pooch or kitty, they will lay eggs for up to 30 days. When they’re done, they will just hop off and then set up their new home on your furniture, continually on your pets…and perhaps even periodically on you.

“Ew, gross!” is definitely the right reaction you should have. Fortunately, now that you know how they get around, here’s what you can do once you know there’s an infestation.

Tip 2: Apply Flea Prevention Products Recommended by Your Vet

If you’ve discovered fleas in your home already, then find and use products that are meant for prompt cat or dog parasite prevention – in this case, fleas – immediately. You might need to give your pets a bath with flea-killing shampoo or apply a topical solution at once. The safest way to treat your pet is to call or visit to the vet to discuss the best product for your pet’s lifestyle (oral prevention, topical prevention, immediate treatment options, etc).

Tip 3: Clean, Clean, and then Clean Some More

Vacuuming is one of the absolute best things you can do to prevent an infestation from happening in the first place. Pay extra attention to nooks and crannies and wherever your pet spends their time, such as their bed, around your bed, in the corners of the room… basically, anywhere and everywhere you can think of.

Remember to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately afterward by sealing it in an extra garbage bag before throwing it out, especially if you suspect an infestation is present or if you’re currently trying to get rid of one.

Always mop up the floors when you’re done vacuuming to kill any potential eggs. Launder your pet’s bed, bedding, and washable toys in hot water and soap. If there are toys you can’t wash, but they’re infested, unfortunately you’ll have to throw them away.

If unfortunately all this doesn’t work, or if the infestation is too great, it may be time to call an exterminator. If that’s out of your budget, there are pesticides available over the counter for in-house use similar to a spray paint can, but this should be your last resort, as it’s always better to have a professional choose the best product for your house.

Tip 4: Keep Talking to Your Veterinarian!

We hope you followed our previous tip regarding calling your veterinarian, especially for products that can help prevent a future infestation. Not only can fleas be a trigger for allergies in pets, but also they tend to be carriers of intestinal parasites like tapeworm and “cat-scratch disease”, both of which can be transferred to humans.

Your veterinarian can help not only determine whether or not your pet actually has fleas – perhaps they have a food allergy or skin problem going undiagnosed – but also your vet can help you to prevent fleas before they’re even present by applying a monthly, topical repellant on to your pet. They can also provide you with the right tools you need for cat and dog parasite prevention, not only for fleas but also for other parasites such as heartworm and ticks.

This Spring, don’t let the fleas be the ones to rise up when the sun rolls out. Prevent them from coming anywhere near your pet and go out and enjoy the sunny weather without fear!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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