The days are getting longer, the snowbanks are melting, and it seems that the coldest days are behind us. That can only mean one thing– spring is on its way! In addition to sunnier weather, spring also brings new health concerns for your furry friends! Here are some tips to keep your pets happy and healthy this season!
Bugs, bugs, and more bugs!
The joy of seeing the snow melt is a bit short-lived when you realize that all those puddles make fantastic breeding grounds for bugs. Spring brings the return of mosquitos, ticks, bees, and other insects. To protect your pet from harmful diseases and infections, be sure to regularly treat them with heartworm and flea and tick preventatives. Your furry friends should stay current on these preventatives year-round, but if you slacked a little during the winter, it’s essential you start these medications again!
As far as bees and other stinging insects go, there’s not much you can do to prevent your pet from the possibility of getting stung. However, if your pet does experience a sting, be sure to monitor them closely. Much like in humans, allergic reactions to bee stings in pets can be sudden and severe. If you notice any extreme swelling or difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately!
Once the weather warms up, we humans have an inherent need to freshen up our living spaces, both indoors and out. When tackling your spring cleaning projects, ensure that your four-legged friends are not exposed to harmful cleaning or yard care products. Keep these substances far from your pet’s reach, and be sure that your furry friends do not come into direct contact with them. Inside, have your pets stay in a separate room or outdoors until all cleaning product residue has dried, and keep your home well-ventilated during cleaning sprees. Outside, make sure that pets avoid any areas that are freshly treated with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides. Try to avoid frequent use of such products in areas that your pet often enjoys.
Allergy season again?!
The spring season is also well-known for the dreaded return of pollen. Just like humans, your pets can experience the irritating symptoms of seasonal allergies. You may notice that your pet is itching or shedding more frequently, and this is perfectly normal. If your pet seems to be particularly bothered by their symptoms, and you notice an abundance of scratching, chewing, or respiratory issues, contact your vet for treatment advice!
Beware of the Easter Bunny
Every year, chocolate tops the list of toxins most commonly ingested by pets. During spring, the best place to find this dangerously tasty treat is in Easter baskets. When celebrating the holiday, supervise your pets closely and keep chocolate and other candy out of their reach. Plastic eggs and fake decorative grass can also be hazardous when ingested by your pets. Keep these holiday decorations away from pets to avoid the danger of ingestion and a possible gastrointestinal obstruction. Don’t forget where you hide those eggs for hunts either! If you don’t find them, your pets or your neighbor’s pets will!
Take it slow
When ramping up springtime activities with your dog, remember to take it easy and work up to more strenuous activities. Since your canine companion has probably experienced reduced exercise through the winter, it’s important take it slow so their muscles can get used to a more active routine. This will help reduce the risk of injury (this is good advice for humans, too)!
Enjoy some professional pampering
Spring is the perfect time to get your pet professionally groomed! Many animals are shedding winter coats, and a grooming session will not only help remove the excess hair, but will make your pet more comfortable and keep your home a little cleaner! Plus, your furry friend’s coat will be gleaming!
Get vaccinated & microchipped
Warmer weather means more time outdoors, longer walks, and more socializing for your pets. Before too much interaction with other animals, make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccines. Staying current with vaccinations will allow your pets to stay safe and healthy while playing with their friends!
Increased activity and more time outdoors also means more chances for your pet to wander off or get lost. Getting your pet microchipped will help them get identified and returned home quickly once they’re found! This is also a great opportunity to make sure that your furry friends have properly-fitting collars and tags with your contact info!
April showers bring poisonous flowers?
When planting your garden, consider whether your pet is likely to munch on the blooms. Many popular flowers and plants can be toxic when ingested by your pets, including rhododendron, azaleas, daffodils, and certain varieties of lilies. Don’t have a garden? Keep an eye on your pets if you keep potted plants or fresh cut flowers, too.
By taking a few simple precautions, your pet can safely enjoy the spring season to the fullest! Now, get out there and enjoy that weather!