Why I Hate Tennis Balls (And Dogs Love Them)

Tennis ball dog

For many dogs, the highlight of their day is a game of fetch with the ball. Who can resist? You’d have to have a heart like a stone to say no. Or, like me, to know too much.

Stay with me while I show you five ways that tennis balls were made in the devil’s workshop. Afterwards, I’ll tell you how your dog can still have that fun without the risk. Continue reading “Why I Hate Tennis Balls (And Dogs Love Them)”

Common Problems Of Dogs, Cats, Rabbits & Chickens

Did you know there’s a lot more disease information elsewhere? Follow the links for:

Anal Glands | Dogs
Arthritis Treatment | Dogs & Cats
Back Problems | Dogs
Bee Sting | Dogs
Calicivirus | Rabbits
Cancer Care | Dogs & Cats
Cat Fight Wounds | Cats
Cat Flu | Cats
Cataracts | Dogs
Constipation | Cats
Coughing | Dogs
Cruciate Ligament Tears | Dogs
Cushings Disease| Dogs
Cuts & Wounds | Dogs, Cats & Rabbits
Dermatitis, Itching & Eczema| Dogs
Diarrhoea | Dogs
DNA Breed Testing | Dogs
Ear Infections | Dogs
Eating Rat Poison | Dogs
Egg Binding | Chickens
Flea Infestations | Dogs, Cats & Rabbits
Food Allergies | Dogs & Cats
Gastrointestinal Stasis | Rabbits
Genetic Disease | Dogs & Cats
Heart Diseases & Failure | Dogs & Cats
Heat Stress & Stroke | Dogs
Hip Dysplasia | Dogs
Injuries Car & Road | Cats
Injuries | Rabbits
Itching | Dogs
Kennel Cough | Dogs
Kidney Disease & Failure | Dogs & Cats
Licking Feet | Dogs
Lost Or Missing Pets | Dogs, Cats & Rabbits
Lumps | Dogs
Myxomatosis | Rabbits
Not Eating | Cats
Not Eating | Rabbits
Overweight | Dogs
Pancreatic Inflammation | Dogs & Cats
Patellar Luxation Surgery | Dogs
Poisoning | Dogs
Separation Anxiety | Dogs
Teeth Cleaning & Dentistry Options | Dogs & Cats
Thyroid & Hyperthyroid | Cats
Urinary Obstruction | Cats
Urinating Inside | Cats
Vomiting | Dogs

Myth 5: My backyard is safe at night

In Adelaide, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Guinea Pigs, Native Mammals and any other small pets commonly live in outside hutches, pens or coops. And without their owners being aware of the risk, they are in great danger. If they are not adequately protected, one night can be all it takes to lose them. Please read on but this story may be upsetting for some.

Why? Foxes! Some readers will be nodding in agreement, and others will be shaking their heads in disbelief. Believe it or not, we have a large and thriving urban fox population in Adelaide. During the day they are denned up somewhere, but at night they roam through our backyards easily climbing fences on the prowl for anything edible.

Cats are seemingly not at risk. Foxes and cats seem to regard each other as worthy adversaries and tend to ignore each other, but I would worry about a kitten out at night. But we need to remember that with cats, night also brings danger. Most cats hit by cars happen at night, probably misjudging the speed and distance of car headlights. Severe cat fights also tend to occur at night when the strays are on the move.

Small pets can live happily in yards for years without problems, then suddenly one nightmarish morning they are all found dead. Foxes will kill as many as they can catch, usually the whole group, and bury the bodies they cannot carry. A fox is a wily and cunning predator, and will attempt to break into animal enclosures if there are any weak points. The pets inside will sometimes die of neck fractures from their panic even if the attempt is unsuccessful.

Nature may be ‘red in tooth and claw’ but we like to imagine our pets don’t have to contend with such horrors. So here are our recommendations:

  1. Keep small pets inside at night, at least in the laundry or an enclosed patio area. 
  2. Chickens and ducks must be locked in a secure coop with an enclosed roof every night
  3. House train your rabbit! It’s fun and easy for a patient person and then they can live with us at all times (if electical cords are protected and you don’t mind furniture legs being chewed)
  4. Screen rabbits from biting insects to help prevent myxomatosis

But all of these animals will need time out of their enclosure to roam and explore. Rabbits particularly suffer from being kept permanently in hutches which do not protect them from extremes in temperature.

Now read an example of what can happen at Case Study: From The Jaws Of Death. We have lots of pages about caring for rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens at Pet Care Advice.

By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These blogs are from a series regularly posted on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe via email here to never miss a story!
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