10 pet care tips for spring

1. Keep your pet cool

When the weather warms up in springtime, you should take steps to make sure your pet is cool and comfortable. Some dog breeds can be easily prone to overheating, especially those with short noses such as bulldogs, French bulldogs, and Shih Tzus. To avoid overheating your dog, make sure he has plenty of shade and a cool place to lie down. In the heat of the day, your pets prefer to stay at home and stay cool. So avoid exercising or taking them out in the heat. Keep your playtime outdoors and exercise with your pet in the coolest parts of the day, such as at the beach B. in the morning or later in the afternoon. If you take your pet with you in the heat of the day, keep them out of direct sunlight and be aware that the paw pads can be burned while walking on hot surfaces. Also, never leave your pet in a hot car! Dehydration can also put a strain on your pet. Make sure he or she has plenty of fresh, clean water that is easily accessible.

2. Take care of your pet (or have someone do it for you)

If you have a furry little friend, spring is the perfect time to get them groomed. In winter, you can let your dog’s fur grow out to keep him warm. If the fur is matted, knotted, or overgrown in spring, your pet may sweat or develop painful and itchy hot spots. The best tip is to either take your dog to a dog groomer and have them cut off, or if you want your dog to have a longer coat, brush regularly to get any dead hair out before they get tangled. Thick, double-coated dogs like a Siberian Husky or an Alaskan Malamute should never be shaved. The layers of your pet’s fur can actually help them cool down and protect them from overheating and sunburn.

3. Watch out for snakes

As the weather warms up, one of the biggest threats to your pet becomes more active. Snakes begin to slip out of their hibernation in the spring, and this can mean it is more dangerous for your pet to be outdoors. Snakes like tiger snakes and brown snakes can be especially deadly to your pet. Symptoms of a snakebite can include dilated pupils, foaming in the mouth, tremors, blood in the urine, sudden breakdown, and sudden death. You should take your dog to the nearest veterinarian immediately if you suspect he has been bitten by a snake. Keeping your yard clean and short-mowed will reduce the risk of snake bites. Avoid long grass when out with your pet.

4. Check your pet for ticks

Ticks are another potential killer for your pet that gets more active during the warmer months. Paralysis ticks can attach themselves to any part of your pet, but they are particularly common on the head, neck, and ears. If you have a long haired dog, you should run your fingers through the dog’s fur looking for ticks. You should always assume that there is more than one check mark in the search. If you find and remove a tick on your dog, you should never assume that your pet is fine. The tick may already have left poison in the system before you removed it. You should always take your pet to the vet if you find a clogged tick or if you suspect your pet has a tick. Symptoms include weakness or wobbling in the hind legs, excessive wheezing and vomiting, foaming in the mouth and, in the worst case, paralysis, difficulty breathing, blue gums and eventually sudden death. Fortunately, there are a number of tick repellants on the market including tick collars, Advantix, and Frontline that can keep your pet safe from ticks.

5. Get rid of the fleas

Fleas are far more common in spring than in winter. To check if your dog has fleas that are looking at the stomach, lower back, or the base of the tail. Signs that your dog has fleas include excessive scratching, biting, or loving, fleas moving through the pet’s fur, and flea debris – small black pepper-like grains in the fur. There are a number of flea treatments available, including tablets like Comfortis, flea shampoos and conditioners, flea collars, and liquids like Frontline and Advantage.

6. Have your pet dewormed

At the start of a new season, it is the best time to make sure your pet has been dewormed. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms are more common in the warmer months. Your pet should be dewormed with an all-wormer medication such as a Drontal tablet every three months. Some liquid flea controls and tablets also control worms.

7. Give your pet some exercise

If your exercise regimen slowed down over the winter, your pet’s likely so too. Spring is the perfect time of year to spend more time outside of your dog, whether you’re playing in the yard or park, or walking or jogging. Take your pet’s exercise slowly and gradually increase it to a level he is comfortable with. Increasing the exercise too quickly can injure your pet’s ligaments or tendons. Remember to exercise your pet during the cooler times of the day when the weather is getting warmer.

8. Watch out for seasonal allergies

Hay fever or allergies in spring? Your pet can too! Some dogs may experience runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, or cause skin irritations such as rashes on their feet and the hairless areas of their abdomen. If your pet is irritated, reddened, or scratching more than usual, you should take them to the vet for an exam.

9. Make sure your pet’s ID is up to date

Spring can bring more risks to your dog if he gets lost or escapes. From a walk in the park or the beach to a shock during a storm, your pet could be missing. This is why it’s especially important to keep your pet’s identity up to date, including making sure they are microchipped and properly tagged with a collar.

10. Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date

Taking your dog with you on the go can expose them to a number of diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough. Parvovirus is particularly deadly and highly contagious for dogs. You should make sure that your dog is vaccinated as a puppy. Adult dogs should be vaccinated annually to protect them from transmitting or catching disease.

What additional steps do you take to keep your pet happy and healthy this spring?

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