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PET SAFETY MONTH: 30 tips in 30 days that can save your pet's life - Tip #23


Depending how well I know you I either shake your hand or give you a hug. Perfectly polite. And depending on your state of health, I might have just picked up a cold, the flu or worse.

If we were two dogs, we'd sniff each other, nose to tail, to exchange our greetings. Perfectly good dog manners. And in doing so I might have just picked up Giardia, worms or worse.

No, I'm not going to be like the old school marm who and tell you never to let your dog sniff butt for that is how they greet and that is how they gather a lot of information about one another - age, gender, general health, willingness to play, where their new friend has been, who he's been with, what his mood is.

And, no, I'm not going to be your biology teacher and give you full background on Canis Giardia. We've done that in two blogs already and here are the links for anyone who wants to learn more. Giardia - Should I be Worried and Watch Out for Giardia Canis

We're just going to give you some common sense tips on keeping your pup from picking up a case of Giardia or worms or giving it to the next pup on the block or the dog park.

  • Always carry your own water bowl. Never allow pup to drink from a communal water bowl or a puddle where a pup that might have been butt or poop sniffing could have been drinking

  • Short butt sniffs, preferably the canine equivalent of "air kisses" are ok. No poop sniffing.

  • Don't let pup play in damp mulch or leaves.

  • If a pup has worms or Giardia, walk him solo as a kindness to other pups.

  • After you scoop the infected poop, spray the area with a disinfectant spray. Double bag the poop and tie it off securely. Then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer at your first opportunity.

Although humans and felines can get Giardia it is very rare and veterinarians believe both feline and human giardia is a different species from Giardia Canis. We still strongly recommend lots of hand washing, hand sanitizing and disinfectant spray.

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