Reno the MinPin needs lots of exercise and stimulation.

Making a flea-free home for the right kind of dog

Reno, a one-year-old Miniature Pinscher, was adopted by an elderly couple who thought a MinPin would be a good fit.

The plan was for this week’s pet to be one of “yours” but this pet is kind of one of “mine.” The “mine” is in quotations because Reno is in a kind of limbo. He lives with us here at Brouse Loop Kennels but he is a rescue looking for a home…or is he?

Reno is a one-year-old Miniature Pinscher. He was adopted a couple of months ago by an elderly couple who thought a MinPin would be a good fit.

The Miniature Pinscher looks like a tiny Doberman. They are short-coated and long in leg. They can weigh as little as four pounds but Reno is a bit on the large size weighing about eight. Colours are black-and-tan, and red-and tan, or solid red.

They are not actually mini-Dobes, the MinPin pre-dates the Doberman by hundreds of years. Bred as ratters, the MinPin is on-alert and ready for action: body and mind, they are primed to work. A dog trainer once told me, half-jokingly: “Dobermans are the lapdogs, MinPins are the guard-dogs.”

Reno didn’t fit into his new home. He was nervous and could not settle. Possibly he was not getting enough exercise and stimulation. Here at our house, he plays for hours at a time, wrestling with our young Finnish Spitz, “Miss Kitty.”  He  wears a sweater and she grabs him ‘by the lapels’ and drags him around the room. At rest, he curls up behind me on the couch. Mornings, you see his full terrier personality, springs for legs, boinging beside me like Tigger as I do the morning chores.

He may not have fit in at his former home but he fits in fine here. So is he a rescue looking for a home? Or do I have a new dog?

This time of year I often have people ask about fleas. Why now? Well fleas love cool damp weather. I have often gone for years in Nakusp without seeing fleas but with milder winters as we have seen in the past few years and with the damp spring and fall weather, we have been seeing more fleas than usual. Contact can be from other animals, especially cats, and from outdoors in the grass.

Fleas are strange little creatures. The larvae can remain dormant for years and then “come alive” at the first indication that a host is available. Seriously! How can you fight an insect that resourceful in its life cycle?

In my grooming shop I use a simple solution. I add essential oils to my regular shampoos to create a natural flea bath. The most effective is oil of rosemary: four drops to a bottle of half shampoo/half warm water will kill fleas in their tracks. I also add oil of rosemary to a spray bottle of water as a flea repellant.

Using a shampoo or repellent does not kill fleas that are in the house though. For this reason I do recommend using topical treatments such as Advantage or Revolution, available only through the vet clinic. These work to kill the fleas as they bite the animal; the pet acts as a trap luring and killing the fleas in your home.

Pets with fleas will scratch and bite at themselves. Flea dirt is visible especially on the back end above the tail. If you think your pet may have fleas I would be happy to do a flea check. Give me a call at Brouse Loop Kennels.


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