With the warmer weather and the changing seasons comes new goals, new opportunities, and more chances to get outside. Spring is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, and listed here is everything you should do to make sure your pet is ready for Spring.
Dogs, particularly seniors and those with compromised immune systems, should visit their veterinarian twice per year for wellness check ups. Spring is a perfect time to schedule this exam, which should include a fecal check for all dogs and a blood test for seniors.
Warmer weather means that pesky insects will be out in full force soon. If you took your dog off of flea and tick preventative during the winter months, Spring is the time to renew your fight against preventable diseases. During your dog’s wellness exam talk to your veterinarian about your best options, as sometimes new products are released in the Springtime that might be of better benefit to your pet. Learn more about fleas here.
Most dogs shed their coats in the Spring and Fall months. Schedule your pet for a bath and haircut once the weather turns warm in order to limit the amount of fur that accumulates in your house and on your clothes. If your dog is a groomable breed, consider a new hairdo for his or her utmost comfort in the warmer weather.
Diet and Exercise Plan
Most dogs (and humans) tend to gain extra weight during the cold winter months. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s body condition and whether the portion sizes you are feeding are appropriate. Now is also a great time to start a new exercise plan together; too. Walking, hiking, running, and cycling are all great ways to welcome the changing of the seasons and start fresh.
However, be sure to properly heat acclimate your dog. Veterinarians report that incidences of heat stroke and exhaustion are most notable on the first few warm days of spring because owners are overzealous in the nice weather. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends outside, particularly if temperatures are 20 – 30 degrees warmer than normal.
Plan Indoor Fun
Even though Spring brings warmer weather, it also can bring rain and occasional snow. Brainstorm a list of fun activities you can do with your dog indoors for when the weather doesn’t permit you to follow your new exercise plan. Even a few days of staying indoors can derail your efforts at getting healthy if you are not prepared!
Spring is the perfect time to toss out the old and start with the new. Check your dog’s leash and collar – particularly the clasps – to make sure they are still in working order. If these items are rarely washed, now is the time to do so. Go through your dog’s toys and throw away anything that is destroyed or has developed mildew. Look for items that can be donated to your local animal shelter, such as used bedding, food and water bowls, pet beds, grooming tools, leashes, and collars.