How to Care for Horses and Pets

July 28, 2015

How to care for horses and other pets

Grooming is not just for show. It ensures a horse's well-being and allows you to check it over for minor injuries. Follow these techniques for horses that live outside or horses that are not clipped. Then learn how to be proactive and prevent worms in your pets -- something that can be dangerous for both your furry friends and humans.

How to Care for Horses and Pets

Grooming equipment

Equipment you will need:

  • Rubber curry comb or grooming mitt
  • Dandy brush
  • Body brush
  • Face brush
  • Clean sponges or soft cloth
  • Plastic mane comb
  • Hoof pick
  • Hoof oil

2. Grooming techniques

  1. Start on one side, working down from the neck, using the rubber curry comb or grooming mitt in circular sweeps to loosen dirt, following the direction of the hair. Go gently over bony parts, and sensitive spots such as the belly and between the hind legs. Do the same on the other side. Then use a dandy brush to sweep out the loosened dirt, and a body brush to remove any residues and to smooth the coat.
  2. Gently whisk clean the broader parts of the face, ears and throat with the face brush and use it to remove any remaining dust that you missed with the body brush. Clean carefully around the eyes, ears and muzzle with a damp sponge or soft cloth.
  3. Hold the tail out and up then clean the dock with a damp sponge. Next, gently comb out the mane and the tail. If necessary, use the body brush to remove loosened dirt from the mane or tail.
  4. Use the hoof pick to scrape out mud and stones, which can cause lameness. Work from heel to toe, as you're less likely to dig into the horny pad in the sole — the 'frog'. If recommended, oil the hooves to prevent cracking.

3. How to treat worms in pets

Even healthy-looking animals can be carrying roundworms and tapeworms. In young pets, worms can cause a pot belly, poor growth and diarrhea. A heavy infestion can even cause a fatal blockage of the intestines. In adult pets, worms can lead to poor coat condition, vomiting and diarrhea.

Worms also pose a risk to humans — roundworms in dogs and cats (toxocara), for example, can cause blindness in children, though this is rare. Regular worming is essential to protect pets and people alike. Worms aren't choosy, and will live happily inside you, too.

  1.  Ask your vet for advice on the most suitable worming treatment to use on a pet.
  2. Tapeworms rely on fleas to survive, so regular flea prevention treatment is important. Ask your vet for advice.
  3. Note clearly on your calendar when treatments are due.
  4. Always observe strict hygiene. Dispose of feces and cat litter every day and always wash your hands afterwards. Make sure children do the same and stop them playing with mud. Cover sandpits, too, to avoid cat contamination.

Follow these simple guidelines to properly care for your horse and ensure other pets avoid worms -- something that can be dangerous for both their health and yours.

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