Spring is a coming, and with it comes warmer temperatures. While most of us will be excited to share in the more temperate weather with our furry friends, pet parents should be aware that there are some preparations we must make to properly keep our dogs safe through the change of season. Luckily, many of these are simple tweaks to our routine that are not difficult to keep up with for a few short months. Here, Freshpet provides tips pet parents can use to keep their dogs safe throughout the spring.
As temperatures warm up, dormant pests will become a natural safety concern for pets. Not only can pesky bugs cause discomfort by biting our pets, but they can also be carriers of serious illness. If you do not already use a flea and tick preventative for your dog, consider doing so to give them a layer of protection as they start to spend more time outdoors. This is especially helpful for people who regularly walk through wooded areas, camp, or spend extended periods outside with their pets. Remember that even if you do use preventative, there is still a chance that flea or ticks will find a way to hitch a ride. For this reason it never hurts to check for ticks after spending time outside with your dog.
During the wintertime, some of our dogs tend to be less active and get a bit less exercise. If this is the case with your furry friend, be sure to reintroduce any strenuous exercise to your dog gradually. Giving your dog the chance to acclimate themselves to more activity is the safest way to prevent injury during workouts. This is because it will help them redevelop the muscle tone and cardio required to safely exercise for longer periods of time at once. One way that exercise can be gradually reintroduced to your dog is by timing your walks. If you were walking in smaller intervals during the winter, build up to longer walks by adding just a few minutes at a time to your routine. Also, avoid injuries to your dogs’ stomach by ensuring that you are feeding them a healthy dog food either 2 hours prior to your walk or a half hour to 45 minutes after.
Spring is commonly a time of the year when we start to clean the messes from months passed out of our homes. While doing so, we should always ensure that we are not leaving anything lying around that could be harmful to our pets. Medications that we may be rearranging or disposing of should never be left in an easily accessible place, as many over the counter medications can be toxic to dogs. Similarly, items that we may clean out from under our sinks such as rodenticides, insecticides, and household cleaning products should never be left in a place where our dogs can get into them. If you suspect that your dog has ingested any hazardous materials by mistake, call an emergency veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Much of the beauty of spring comes from the fact that many fruits, vegetables, and plants grow. It is important to remember, however, that many of them are far from being healthy dog food options for our pets- even if our dogs think they may be! Certain plants such as tulips, daffodils, azaleas, and lilies can be extremely detrimental to a dog’s health if ingested. Because it may be difficult to tell if a plant is dangerous to dogs just by looking at them, experts recommend not letting your dog chew on plants of any kind as you spend time outside. If your dog tends to chew plants that you keep in your house or outdoor garden, one of the best ways to avoid accidental poisonings is to pick plants that are not harmful to them if eaten.
Easter is only about a week away, and treats are sure to be a part of many pet parents’ celebrations. Chocolate ranks as the number one pet poison and can cause a variety of health issues if ingested by your dog. Candies that we have around during Easter may also contain xylitol, which is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is often used as a sweetener. Just to be safe, it is a great idea to keep the kids’ sweets out of your dog’s reach. This extends to other potentially hazardous items such as candy wrappers, plastic eggs, and fake grass, all of which can cause gastrointestinal obstructions in pets if ingested.