Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy in the Spring
Spring is in the air, and everyone is excited – especially your four-legged pal! Spring means fresh new smells and tons of fun, outdoor adventures.
But before you and your dog set out to take it all in, follow these 8 springtime safety tips for your dog to ensure they will be healthy and happy – and that you will be worry-free – all season long.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe in the Springtime
1. Get up-to-date on preventive medications. Spring is the perfect time to make sure your dog is protected against everything they can come in contact with while roaming around the great outdoors.
This means protecting your dog using flea and tick prevention and protecting against heartworm disease, which is spread to canines through mosquitos. It’s easy to forget about these dangers during the winter months when these pests are dormant, but it is all-too-important when spring rolls around.
2. Check for ticks. Even if you use tick and flea prevention, your dog can still carry ticks. Lyme disease can be transmitted to your dog within just a few hours of a tick bite, so check your dog frequently for ticks. Doing so will also avoid bringing the ticks into your home.
3. Be mindful of dog allergies. Just like humans, dogs can react to pollen and other springtime allergens. Pay attention to whether your dog is experiencing allergy symptoms such as itchiness or sneezing, and contact your veterinarian with concerns.
4. Practice safe car travel. Spring is ideal for taking your dog to parks or on hikes away from the home, which often requires car travel. Keeping your dog in a crate or restrained in the seat is best to avoid any injuries while on the road. Remember that although dogs love to stick their heads out of the car window, doing so can be dangerous as debris can enter their eyes and possibly cause infection.
5. Consider a new collar or harness. After a long winter, give your dog’s collar a once-over to see if it needs replacing. Is the material fraying or ripped? Are there rusty metal pieces? Does it still fit your dog comfortably but securely? The same goes for your dog’s harness, if they use one, and the leash. It’s always better to have secure and durable equipment, especially when you’ll be using it more.
6. Should Your Dog be Microchipped? With potentially more time spent outdoors in the spring, a microchip will help locate your dog if they wriggle out of their collar or manage to escape from the yard. Especially if you are still training your pup, a microchip will help ease your worry if they happen to get away from you.
7. Choose Pet-Friendly Products for Your Spring Cleaning. You may want to engage in a thorough spring cleaning ritual in your home, but keep in mind that your pets share your space as well. Be mindful of which chemicals are harmful to pets and aim for pet-safe products whenever possible, especially in areas of the home they are in frequent contact with.
8. Ease Into Exercise. After a long winter of limited exercise, your pooch likely can’t wait to get outside. But before embarking on a long hike or a jog near the lake right off the bat, slowly work up to an exercise regimen with your pet to help them shed any winter weight but avoid injury.
Springtime is a great, fresh start after a long winter, and with your pup prepared for all that the season has to offer, it’s time to unleash the fun!