There are few times of the year more invigorating than springtime. The sun shines brightly, the snow melts quickly, and trees and flowers burst with life — by any measure, spring is the season of renewal. Just like you’ll spend time preparing your home for warmer temperatures, you should also prepare your pooch for spring.
Your dog prepared for winter by growing a thicker layer of fur. As warmer weather approaches, he’ll shed his extra fur. You can help the process along — and keep unwanted fur out of your home — by grooming him at the start of the season. This process can also help remove mats that may have developed from romps through the snow.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas and ticks are more than unwanted pests that will happily live on your dog — they’re also nasty parasites that cause serious and even life-threatening diseases. If you don’t keep your dog on a year-round flea and tick prevention regimen, now is the time to start. Avoid giving your dog multiple treatments in a short period of time, as too much medicine may make him sick. Remove ticks immediately on sight, and if you’ve already found fleas, talk to your vet about the best way to rid your dog of these pesky pests.
Heartworm is a deadly disease spread by mosquitos. You can easily protect your dog from this dangerous disease with a heartworm preventative medicine. Depending on the advice of your vet, you can give heartworm preventative medicine year-round or from May to December. Do not give your dog heartworm medicine without asking your vet to administer a blood test first.
Preparing for Travel
Spring break often means spring travel, and if your upcoming getaway means going on a plane, it’s best to prepare your pooch well in advance. If your dog is small enough to travel with you on board, you’ll need a crate. Your airline can give you the crate size requirements. Let your dog become accustomed to the crate well in advance of your trip. If anxiety is a problem, your vet may be able to relax your dog medicinally.
Staying Safe in the Garden
Your dog will love spending time outdoors with you once the weather warms up. If you’re like many homeowners, you probably spend a few hours planting a garden or preparing your lawn for summer. Remember that certain plants are poisonous, and fertilizers can be exceptionally dangerous for dogs. Even walking through fertilizer or other lawn chemicals can damage your dog’s paws. If applying chemicals is on your to-do list, keep your pooch off your lawn until after the next rain. When walking your dog, take note of any lawn signs that indicate a recent chemical application, too.
If you haven’t brought your dog to the vet for a while, spring is the perfect time to schedule an appointment. Make sure to ask for a thorough teeth cleaning, review preventative medicines and update any vaccinations. Don’t forget to renew your dog’s license, too.