After being cooped up all winter, it is time to take advantage of the longer and warmer days ahead! Not just for us, but our dogs too! With the change of season, our thoughts can jump to outside fun, celebrations, spring cleaning, home improvement projects and gardening. However, the warmer days also bring seasonal health concerns, so take a moment to make sure you and your dog are prepared for potential springtime pet hazards.
Hide the Sticks
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to enjoy the fresh air, but sticks can cause choking and injuries in your dog’s mouths and throats. If your dog enjoys fetch, bring a frisbee, tennis ball or other toy instead.
For the Green Thumb
Our lawns and plants can be kept healthy with fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, but the ingredients in these products can be dangerous to your pet if ingested. Make sure to keep them stored out of reach of your furry friends and follow the instructions carefully. You can also opt for pet-safe products. Many popular springtime plants are also highly toxic to pets and can cause severe health risks if eaten. Visit https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list for the ASPCA’s full list of Plants Toxic to Dogs.
During your spring cleaning process, it also might be a good time to evaluate your cleaning products for pet-friendliness. Certain soaps, bleach, polishes, and cleaners can irritate your pet’s skin and cause damage to their gastrointestinal tract. Sponges and other cleaning tools present a problem for the curious pet as well. Make sure to keep non-safe products where your dog cannot reach them, keep your pet away from where you are cleaning, or opt for pet-safe supplies.
Flea and Tick Prevention
The American Heartworm Association recommends keeping dogs on a year-round flea and tick preventative to guard against heartworm disease. With flea and tick prevention your pet won’t pick up tapeworms or have flea bites, it will protect against diseases that fleas and ticks carry like lyme disease, ehrlichia, rocky mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis. Pets are out and about more this time of year, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to get your pet a flea and tick preventative. Talk to your vet about your options and which option will be best for your pet.
Get that Winter Body back in Shape
Did your dog spend most of winter cozy indoors? It is hard to stay more active when it is so cold outside, and like humans, exercising more, watching food portions and avoiding treats between meals can get your pet to a healthy weight. Overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, respiratory and heart diseases, and have joint problems. If you suspect your pet has gained some unwanted weight, consult your vet and together you can come up with a plan.
Have a safe, active and healthy spring with your furry best friends!