As spring has sprung, it’s time to have a think about some of the challenges these coming months may have for your dog’s health, and how you can best safeguard against them so both you and your pooch have the best season possible.
- Watch out for the usual nasty suspects
While pet owners should constantly be on the watch for fleas and ticks, they can relax a little during winter as they’re somewhat less common. But now that the weather is warming up, we are entering prime critter season and vigilance is vital. Mosquitoes are back, along with the risk of heartworm. Your dog should already be on year-long heartworm medication, but if for whatever reason they’re not, now is absolutely the time to see a vet and fix that. As for fleas and ticks, it’s time to pay special attention to them too. Talk to your vet about products which can reduce the risk of fleas and ticks, and make sure to be checking your dog regularly.
- Ease back into days out, and pack properly
After spending winter relatively inactively, be careful not to overwhelm your dog (or yourself for that matter) with too much activity, too quickly. This can lead to injuries for both you and your pooch, so take it easy in the first few weeks at least.
Also remember to bring the right equipment and adequate water for your dog to make sure they stay healthy and hydrated through these experiences. People often forget that pets can sunburn too, so remember to pack the doggy sunscreen (free of zinc oxide) for use on your pooch’s most exposed skin. If a drive is required to get where you’re going, ensure you have the right gear to buckle in your four-legged friend, and keep everyone safe.
- Avoid harmful chemicals and plants
Whether you’re cleaning inside the house, or beautifying the garden in preparation for spending more time in it, be very careful with the chemicals you use. Use pet-friendly fertilizers, keeping your pets indoors while they’re in use, and avoid pesticides or weed-killers unless they’re pet-safe. When you’ve finished using the products, make sure they’re well out of your dog’s way to ensure curiosity doesn’t get the better of them.
Also make sure that any pretty flowers or plants that make their way into your garden are safe for your pooch – while your dog may have no history of eating plants in the past that you know of, it’s just not a risk worth taking when another non-toxic plant could fill the same spot just as well.
- Take care during social events
With spring comes a higher chance of spending time with family, friends and food, through increased barbeques and other social events held at your house. If young kids are a part of that equation, make sure they know your pooch’s boundaries and how to act around your dog. All dogs like different things, and their way of behaving around their pet might be different from what your dog is used to, potentially causing some distress. If your dog tends to get anxious, make sure a safe space is available for them to go and hide if the need arises during these sorts of social occasions.
- Watch for allergies
One of the major downsides to spring for us humans is it marks the beginning of hay fever season. Well, it turns out dogs can have allergies too, and spring is the prime time for these allergies to reveal themselves. Watch your dog closely for itching and sneezing, and if you think your pet might have an allergy, ask your vet about solutions. If your dog has an allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting, take them to the vet immediately.