Vaccination is mostly dependent on your geographical location and where you’ll be taking your buddy. Therefore, every geographical region in any state or country has its particular vaccination requirements. For instance, if coming from North Idaho, vaccinations issued may not be similar to what is required for instance in Texas. If planning a journey with your canine, you should consult your vet.

Summer Dog Tips

When To Vaccinate Your Dog

If planning to travel within a 4 to a 500-mile radius from your home, then the vaccination administered by your vet should be fine for your dog. Ensure your dog has been vaccinated a few days or weeks before your travel date. This will help the vaccine to the dog’s antibody.

Usually, there are no serious side effects experienced, but it’s advisable to give him/her some observation. If there are any adverse effects, it will become evident within the first few hours after administration. Some dogs may become generally tired or even lose appetite for about 24 hours. This should be of no concern, however, if he shows uncommon signs such as excessive panting, shaking, drooling or anything else out of the ordinary, call your vet right away.

When getting ready for your trip, have all the copies of K-9 vaccination documents in your luggage where they can be found easily.

Vaccination Frequency

Vaccination of your four-legged buddies is not something that must be done every year. As we have discovered lately, no one beyond the drug companies has conducted studies to show that vaccination should be done every year. A couple of studies underway suggest that most of the vaccinations administered are enough to last your dog up to the 5th or 6th year. This is in contrary to the belief that drug companies put forward that canines should be vaccinated yearly.

But why would they do so? It’s all because of money. These companies know for sure that most of the vaccines provided can last more than a year. Thus they thought that if vets could be made to believe that yearly vaccination is necessary, they can earn more money. Most of us may not have much concern about them making some extra cash, but what should be of much concern is that the method used to earn the cash is misleading.

Furthermore, there has been an increased concern among veterinary scientists that the over-vaccination given to canines could be the cause of rising cases of the K-9 liver among other organ cancer problems. This is most probably very true because anything introduced into an animal’s body will eventually get to and past the liver.

The more frequent vaccinations are given to your animal the more it can stress its organs, this can result in cell changes.  On top of the frequent vaccinations, there are other toxins from the surrounding environment. When all these are combined, a conducive environment for cancer to thrive is created.  While we may not be doctors, as more research is underway, this fact will come out for sure. I want to stress that our dogs need these vaccinations, but you do not have to take him too often to a vet to get vaccinated. On the other hand, there are vaccine types that need to be frequently administered.  The types of vaccines I have discussed above are known as “Modified Live Viruses.” They provide a longer immunity on an animal’s body than the “Killed” vaccine forms.  The latter forms of vaccines offer protection for at most a year.  As for some, such as Bordetella/ influenza and improved Leptospira vaccines only give a protection lasting for up to 8 months. We support our vets and are for vaccinations, at the right time and the right amount. Discuss vaccinations with your vet and work with them to ensure that your dog is in a safe vaccination schedule. This is, of course, an overview of the vaccination of your canines. There still lies lots of info on vaccination that your vet will be able to explain to you in more detail.

Deworming Your Dog

Deworming your dog is one of the most overlooked things. Usually, a “float test” can be carried out on your dog’s stool sample to check if your dog is infested with any internal parasites. Dogs can pick up these internal parasites through their frequent urge to sniff their stool as well as of other dogs.  Even if you keep your canine buddy in the house, there is still a chance of picking up parasites from spots that other dogs have visited due to their sniffing power. As such, you should have his/her stool sample tested for internal parasites at least once or twice a year.

We do NOT recommend buying and administering OVER-THE-COUNTER deworming capsules/pills found in farm stores, pet shops, grocery outlets or the mega stores. Such OTC drugs can increase the risk of killing your dog.

This reason this is dangerous is that the OTC pills are simply a combination of several chemical poisons meant to kill a number of worms at once. This is known as “Shotgun approach.” It is important to administer only what your dog needs to get rid of the internal parasites. The other poisons available in the pills may result in complications or even death.

Apart from these drugs containing excessive poisons, dog owners are required to administer according to body weight that lies between two figures. However, deworming drugs should be given at exact amount for your dog’s body weight, not a certain range. Thus the “Shotgun approach” will increase the risk of overdosing and can result to dreadful results.


Heartworms have spread very fast across the country a couple of past years. It was once only a great concern in the South. And now it is a rampant issue in all areas, East, Midwest and Northwest. In Idaho, the worm never used to be an issue either, until rescue dogs summing up to 60 in number were adopted in Spokane from Louisiana area following the Hurricane Katerina.  In a few months’ time, the problem set in. What a great rescue team!


These worms are transported by mosquitoes. When a mosquito sucks blood from an infected dog, it also picks up the heartworm larvae with it, which it transmits to a new host. Once transmitted, the larvae grows to an adult in the new host dog’s heart and reproduces, thus the life cycle goes on.


With time, their number greatly multiply to a level that the host dog suffers slight heart problems without your notice. With more time, these worms finally begin to clog your canine buddy’s A dog that has been highly infested will frequently run short of breath when doing some physical exertion activities. Coughing and evident lack of strength can also be noticed.


It is important if your dog is infested, to have vaccination administered by your vet doctor. Note that vaccination is administered ONLY if your dog infested. If not delivered in time, it should be started right away when you realize the infestation. If there are already larger heartworms in your dog, then SLOW treatment should be begun to kill the worms.  It’s important that it’s done under a vet doctor’s care. A massive and quick killing of the worms can block the arteries and result to a severe heart attack.


At La Terra Dios Ranch, we normally use “Revolution” a drug label by Pfizer. We highly recommend it since it is very safe and highly effective. We’ve been using it for more than six years. It is very safe and does not pose any adverse effects even if overdosed, though you shouldn’t do that. Its price usually varies from a vet to another, so you might want to shop for it.

The drug is in liquid form and administered once a month on the skin, between shoulder blades. I’d recommend to buy it in six pack. Don’t mistake it to be a treatment for heartworms only as it can also get rid of external parasites like fleas, ear mites, and ticks.

Most dog owners don’t know that ear mites result to about 70 to 90% of all ear infections. By getting rid of ear mites, you can keep ear infections at bay. The latter can be very costly to treat, ranging from $40 t0 $200.

Note that any medication for heartworms should be applied in mosquito seasons. However, fleas may be transmitted any time from another dog. By using Revolution every month, you shall have kept all flea and ear mite problems away from your dogs the whole year round.

While your dog is on Revolution, a flea has a lifespan of a couple of hours to live when they bite your buddy. That’s fantastic, isn’t it? At our grooming shop, we groom dogs suffering from flea infestation, and the owners come back thanking us for it.


Rounds are more common with many dogs. Puppies are often born with roundworms, even when their mother was dewormed regularly prior to breeding.  Roundworms are quite large, have a white body with tapered at the ends. In puppies they can sometimes be coughed out and are easily visible in stool.


They typically fill a pup’s stomach quickly and give them a large appetite. Most puppies will love to eat whenever food is made available, but when they are infested with roundworms, much of the intake is devoured by the worms. These worms can as well damage the delicate alimentary tract of the puppies. And if not treated, can result in malnutrition.


Roundworms can find their way into your canine buddy’s bloodstream, making it difficult to get rid of. Therefore, a single deworming isn’t enough. The first batch will only get rid of infestations in intestines and stomach, while larva and eggs in other parts remain intact and re-infesting the dog again. 3 doses with a spacing of 10 days should be administered to get rid of the parasites.

Pyrantel Pamoate

At La Terra Dios, we give our Westie pups Pyrantel Pamoate at 50mg/ml right from age of 4 weeks and then with another dose after 10 days, followed by another one after 10 days.  We give our puppies and grown up dogs at 1ml for every 10 pound body weight.  For instance, a puppy weighing 32 oz. or 2 lbs. we administer 0.2ml.  Body weight is an important factor each time when applying the treatment.

After every week of deworming, you should check your puppy’s stool as earlier described for any signs of re-infestation.


The adult tapeworm is large with a flat body which can be as long as several feet. The worm is segmented with each section containing eggs. The parts are passed out with stool and will resemble an inchworm when still wet but after drying will look like rice grains.  They can also be found hanging on the hair or in the bedding of the dog. Tapeworms are the most destructive worms after the heartworms in dogs and other mammals, with humans included. A tapeworm infested dog can transmit the parasite’s eggs to you or your kids with a lot of ease. And the infestation can hit the entire household for months without your knowledge. Symptoms become only evident when the infestation is severe.


These are transmitted to dogs through fleas. The larva of fleas ingest the eggs of tapeworms and then grows into an adult when the dog ingests it by biting itself when attacked by the flea. Afterward, eggs are hatched in the dog’s intestines, grows into worms which then feed on your dog’s body. They worms lay eggs and the cycle continues.

Rabbits can also act as intermediate hosts, therefore dogs should not be allowed to get near rabbit entrails. Any dog that feeds on rabbits most probably are infested with tapeworms.  Due to this, dogs that tend to roam in wild areas should be diagnosed for infestation several times in a year. Tapeworms can grow to become very large, as such can result to massive wasting of your dog.


A very evident sign that your dog could be infested is the constant urge to eat, yet he/she is still skinny. However, don’t mistake this with the case of a puppy who is always ready to have a bite.  A puppy can leave a considerable amount of food put in their dish just like it is common when feeding freely. However, an infested dog will quickly eat all the food to the point that she/he can’t have anymore but will always remain skinny. The worms are taking up much of the nutrients while the dog is left malnourished.


Your vet doctor will provide pills to get rid of the worms. But they are highly toxic as well as costly. You can opt for a non-toxic and inexpensive remedy from health store outlets. This completely toxic free and non-expensive remedy is a homemade solution. Here’s how you can make up your own:

Get some raw hulled seeds of pumpkins from your grocery outlet. The amount is dependent on your dog’s size.  The seeds can then be ground, either at the grocery store who have grinders or by yourself at home using a food blender. The ground seeds should like cornmeal. Dogs will find it difficult to ingest them if not ground to fine texture. You should mix the ground seeds with the dog’s food about your dog’s body size. Do this twice a day, morning and evening for 14 days. And your dogs will be freed from tapeworm problem. Ensure that your dog’s poop is properly collected and disposed of before, during and after treatment. The fecal material may still contain eggs of the worm.


Check the simple sheet below on the different amounts of ground seeds we recommend according to dog sizes. Note that these are not nuts, they are seeds. Nuts from trees can cause harm to your canine buddy. Even the little amount such as ½ oz. can result in death. That applies for chocolate as well as cocoa shell mulch.
Weight single serving, twice a day

  • 10 – 20 lbs. One measuring tablespoonful
  • 20 – 30 lbs. three measuring tablespoonsful
  • 30 – 50 lbs. 1/8 cup
  • 50 – 75 lbs. 1/4 cup
  • 75 – 100 lbs. 1/3 cup
  • 100 – 150 lbs. 1/2 cup

We have used this at our La Terra Dios Ranch, and it works! Dog owners have thanked us for this clever efficient and inexpensive trick. Go ahead and try it!
Dogs may also be infested with other types of worms when they contact other dogs. But such worms are those that are common in many places. Do remember that you should rely on your vet doctor for any condition regarding your dog.


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