Good Sunday morning everyone; what a great day. The only sound I hear is of distant birds; no barking dogs today, what a nice surprise. My neighborhood is a very barking one normally and at times it is ridiculously loud. I spent a good part of yesterday going through old pictures; I was looking for a particular image but thoroughly enjoyed the process. Looking back can be an amazing experience as it conjures up old memories. I know I've taken a lot of photos over the last 6 years of shooting dogs but seeing some of them made me realize just how many. I found this above image and thought that it would be great to discuss the water that our dogs drink.
Clean fresh water is a must for dogs; but it's not always as fresh as you may think. Two common parasites that can be transferred via water bowls. There are a whole slew more but these are the ones you see often. When I first got Luke he was a dirt eater; weird problem but he loved to grab a mouthful of dirt whenever he could. After contracting coccidia and giving it to the other dogs I was determined to stop this bad habit. And after being told by the vet; "once a dirt eater always a dirt eater" the challenge was on. It was fairly simple and the dirt eating stopped. Both coccidia and giardia are parasites that cause diarrhea and left untreated can be life threatening especially for puppies. With continual diarrhea can come dehydration so both must be treated and fresh clean water should be given to your dog.
Visiting dog parks is a great social activity for dogs and owners alike but the water and surrounding area can be a parasite haven. You should bring your own water when you bring your dog out for any type of exercise. Heading them off from the bowl at the park can be difficult but worth the effort. One new water bottle that I love is from Dog is Good. It allows your dog to drink without a bowl; making it easier not to share water and germs with others.
If your dog does contact one of these lovelies you need to get immediate treatment. Also; both are highly contagious so keep away from areas where they may be spread to other dogs. Summertime is the worst for both; with the higher temperatures and the larger number of dogs frequenting these places the risk of infection goes up.
Before Luke contacted coccidia; I'd never heard of it. But once you've experienced a parasite that goes through all three dogs at the same time you tend to steer clear of infectious areas. I hear about giardia far more than coccidia but both are equally disgusting and highly undesirable. Dry parks will be your safest bet; bring your own water and keep your dog's nose out of the public water bowl.