Posted in Dog, Dog Health

An embarassing problem for dogs


Oh No! My mate Digby has fleas! He gave the secret away when Mum and I saw him scratching. His back was itching, his tail was itching and his chubby tummy showed some scratch marks.

My Mum got straight on to it and dosed him with a “spot on” lotion, a bath, then some “kill the fleas” powder. She washed all his blanket and new green crocodile toy. Later she combed him with a tiny comb to check she had eliminated them all.

After a few days, he was OK again and he stopped itching.

Thank goodness I had been a good doggie and eaten my anti-flea tablets. I did not have any problems!

That is a real KoKo tale. Woofs from KoKo

Here is some info on fleas from Vet West

Solving a flea problem

Fleas are tiny dark brown parasitic insects that infest the coat and skin of pets. They have an amazing skill allowing them to jump up to 150 times their own length. Their remarkable jumping skills allow them to transit easily between hosts and the surrounding environment.

How do you tell if your pet has fleas?

One of the first signs of a flea infestation is that your pet will be scratching and seem quite irritated. On closer examination you could find adult fleas in the coat or at the base of the fur on the skin. You may even find flea dirt that looks like small black specks of grit, similar to finely ground pepper. This is actually digested dried blood.

How do pets get fleas?

Flea eggs can remain dormant for astonishingly long periods of time under a variety of conditions. They lay dormant in the garden, or in your carpet and furniture until they are able to hitch a ride. They jump great distances to find a host and travel on pets and even on people.

Why is it important to treat and prevent fleas?

Fleas are the number one cause of skin disease in pets and can cause problems ranging from simple itchiness to weeping sores, scaly skin and a strong smell. Some dogs are even allergic to flea bites (Flea Allergy Dermatitis), where one bite sets off a horrible reaction. Fleas also have the ability to transmit tapeworms in dogs and cats. Fleas also bite humans!

Why do you need to treat for fleas all year round?

Fleas are much easier to prevent than eliminate, so for the most effective method of flea control start before you see fleas. Fleas are not just a summer problem, heating used in winter provides a wonderful environment for flea development too.

Why do fleas spread so quickly?

Fleas breed at an enormous rate. The fleas you see on your dog represent only 5-10% of the fleas in the environment. The rest of the population is represented in the egg and larval stages found in your carpets, furniture, bedding and garden.

The lifecycle of a flea

5% of fleas live in the environment as an adult, 95 % of fleas live as eggs, larvae or pupae. For effective flea control, it is essential to break the life cycle in the environment.

  • Adult Fleas – jump onto your dog or cat, feed on its blood and then start laying eggs.
  • Eggs – one female lays up to 50 eggs per day, they drop off in carpets and bedding before hatching.
  • Larvae – the hatched eggs release larvae which move away from light, deeper into carpets and under furniture before developing into pupae. The larvae feed on organic debris and at this stage can consume tapeworm eggs, allowing them to become an intermediate host for the development of tapeworms.

This life cycle can take as little as 2-3 weeks but can last up to 6 months. To rid your household from fleas, you must break this cycle.

A well-designed program is necessary to maintain a flea-free environment, and prevention is definitely better than cure. There are many different flea products available today and the options can be confusing. Not all products are registered for use in young puppies and kittens and may be quite dangerous.

How do you protect your pet from fleas?

Smelly and potentially toxic chemicals are a thing of the past, now we can enjoy more recent innovations.

When undertaking flea control you have to consider the various stages of the lifecycle. In severe infestations, it is sometimes necessary to treat both the pet and the environment. However, due to the effectiveness of modern flea insecticides, treatment of your pet is often all that is needed. Here are some options:-

Products to rid fleas on your pet

  • Spot on treatments – very effective, once a month treatments. Some products include worming or heartworm treatment as well as flea treatment.
  • Flea shampoo – kills fleas on your pet at the time of the bath, but once rinsed off have no lasting effect on fleas.
  • Collars & Powders – are helpful, but not the most effective treatment

Control the environment

  • Vacuum the carpet 2-3 times a week to remove eggs and stimulate dormant fleaswash
  • Wash pet blankets weekly (in the washing machine) leave in the sun to dry, spray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer (professional treatment recommended), fog the house to prevent larvae developing.
  • Leave in the sun to dryspray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer (professional treatment recommended), fog the house to prevent larvae developing.
  • Spray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer

Stay flealess ! KoKo

Posted in Children, Dogs, Safety, Dog

Can children and dogs play together?

Children with dog
Riley, Jack and KoKo

Dogs and children usually co-exist happily together but parents have a duty to educate their children on the do’s and don’ts of how to behave with a dog.

 This story is modified from

Sadly, we are hearing too many horrific stories of dogs attacking children. Blaming the dog is not the answer. The answer must lie in educating both the adults AND the children how to behave with any dog whether it is their own or not.

Dogs are pack animals with an inner wolf mindset. In a pack, environment dogs are taught about hierarchy and respect for boundaries from a very young age.

When we bring dogs into our families the dog expects discipline. All dogs NEED rules and boundaries from the pack leader and If they aren’t given these then many dogs make their own. Some dogs need this leadership more than others.

Dogs see life differently to us. They see young children like a puppy so while many dogs are very tolerant of children it’s not the case with all dogs.

Adult Rules for child/dog safety

  • NEVER leave a dog alone with a child or baby
  • Children (under 12 years) should not walk a dog without adult supervision
  • Never allow a young child (under 10 years) to feed a dog unsupervised as some dogs can be very protective over food and see a small child as a threat to the dog’s food supply.
  • Do not allow your child to pull on the dog’s collar –It could snap or bite them
  • Never allow a child to discipline a dog without your supervision
  • When visiting friends or family who have a dog do not allow your child to play in the garden with the dog unsupervised.

Children’s Rules or child/dog safety

  • Never pat a strange dog even if it’s owner is present
  • Never go up to a dog that is sleeping or eating (allow it some space)
  • Stay away from a dog that is tied up outside a shop etc.
  • Never ever pull a dog’s tail or ears. Dogs feel pain as well as us!
  • If a dog runs at you barking STAND completely still and put your hands in your pocket
  • Stay away from a dog that has puppy

Woofs from KoKo


Posted in Dog, KoKo, Subiaco

Please teach your kids to be gentle with me.


How Kids SHOULD Interact With Dogs - Lola The Pitty 'My Dog Bit My Child' - poster via Dr. Sophia Yin

I’m well known for my patience and gentleness with kids at the park but if you let your children pull my tail or grip me with both hands I might yell at you to let go.

I’m not being nasty I am just trying to say please be gentle.

Read the poster for more info on safe dog interaction,

Thank you KoKo (the friendliest dog in Subiaco!)