Click here to learn more.
Asking if country-dwelling dogs are healthier than city dogs may seem like a no-brainer.
But you’ll be surprised to learn that rural dogs — even with all that fresh air and plenty of room to run — have their own health issues to contend with compared to city pups.
“Dogs who live in the country are actually at risk for more trauma-type injuries,” says Dr. Duffy Jones, DVM, founder of the Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta. “Because they’re [more often] not on leashes, they’re hit by more cars, and attacked by wild animals more often than city dogs.”
Country canines also have to deal with more parasites, like ticks, fleas and heartworms (although recent studies have found that heartworm disease is actually higher in some cities, thanks to the muggy heat that tends to attract infected mosquitoes).
Rural-residing pups are also more likely to be exposed to toxic chemicals and poisonings. “On a farm, you’re going to have things like oil and antifreeze lying around,” says Dr. Jones. “And since some dogs are free to roam, they’re more likely to get into that stuff.”
In fact, the one huge benefit cosmopolitan dogs have over their country counterparts is that they’re typically always under the watchful eye of an owner.
“When a city dog has vomiting or diarrhea, they’re usually taken to the vet immediately because the owner notices it right away,” says Dr. Jules Benson, BVSc MRCVS, a veterinarian at the Doylestown Animal Medical Clinic and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA). “A country dog owner might realize that their dog isn’t feeling well, but not know what their specific symptoms are because they don’t see them all day.”
This may explain why urban dogs are 44 percent more likely to see a vet for gastrointestinal issues than rural canines, according to recent Petplan Pet Insurance data.
The other reason: access to care. “In the country, if your vet is 20, 30, 40 miles away, you’re much more likely to wait out a vomiting spell than rush the dog to the vet,” says Dr. Benson.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Nina Pham was declared free of Ebola
and will reunite with Bentley, her Cavalier
King Charles Spaniel, on Saturday.
As you garden this season, remember
that dangerous equipment and toxic
plants are two of many fall risks to pets.
Halloween can be a very stressful holiday
for dogs who are afraid of the doorbell,
but here’s how you can help them.
You wouldn’t hold your tarantula any
more than you would your goldfish, but
some species make fascinating pets.
We’re getting ready for Halloween
by sharing our favorite fan-submitted
photos of dogs and cats in costumes.
Known as one of the smartest dogs, the focused Border Collie has appeared in movies like Babe and Hotel for Dogs.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.