Meet, Starbuck, an all-star on BBark's roster, on any Brooklyn dog walking company's roster. This pup can sniff out a discarded chicken bone about a block away in Downtown Brooklyn. And while Starbuck's precision-guided schnozz is quite impressive, it can --and has-- led him into some iffy scenarios of "insert in mouth first, ask questions later."
"It's just that everything looks so potentially tasty!"
Starbuck is a young guy in need of some lessons on what might be better left unsniffed. So, we brought Alva along on the walk today in order to educate the 'Buck on the dangers in seeing the streets as one big, personal buffet.
"Sorry-who's coming what now? I just smelled something DELICIOUS..if I can just...get..my...head..."
Unfortunately, there won't always be iron bars between your pup and a potential health hazard. Puddles (and as we enter the April showers time of the year, there will be a lot of them) are one source of interest you are definitely going to want to steer clear of.
"Repeat after me, Starbuck. Puddle, bad. Trust me, I did it once and the results were not pleasant."
"NO! Bad, Starbuck. Puddle, bad!"
Puddle bad, indeed, Starbuck. Puddles can be a breeding ground of Giardia canis, a parasite th
at can settle in pup's intestines and make for some seriously uncomfortable tummy situations. Importantly, Giardia is contagious, and since Starbuck just got a new puppy in the house, anything that he picks up outside can be brought back into the apartment and spread if use of the same water or food bowls occurs.
"OK. Puddle bad. I got it. But, hey, do you smell a ham sandwich about 200 yards due west of here? I do."
Without a doubt, the best means of preventing tummy troubles, diarrhea and a trip from to the veterinarian is to stay observant and keep pup's smell-investigations to a minimum. If, however, despite your best efforts, you happen to notice diarrhea lasting more than a couple of days, then pup may have lapped up some contaiminated water while you were responding to that text message. Your vet can prescribe some antibiotics to help knock the parasite out.
"So, to repeat, what did we learn today, Starbuck?"
"That puddles are dangerous. ...and that there's still a ham sandwich somewhere out there!"
"Aye. Starbuck, you're lucky you're such a handsome fella..."