Snaggle Foot | May 2022
The sun is shining and the days are getting longer – spring is finally here! The warmer weather means that most of us will be spending more time outside with our dogs. While extended games of fetch, long hikes, and evenings spent on the deck, sound pretty amazing after a long cold winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your dog safe this season. We’ve put together a list of 4 simple things to consider to make sure you, and your dog, stay happy and healthy.
1. Prevent Fleas & Ticks
As the weather warms up, fleas and ticks become more active. These pests can pose a serious threat to your dog's health, so it's important to take steps to prevent them. Fleas can cause skin irritation and anemia, while ticks can transmit disease. In order to mitigate some of these risks, make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations. This may help them avoid diseases like Lyme disease, which is spread by ticks. The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends the use of flea and tick preventive year-round. There are many different products available, so talk to your veterinarian to find one that's right for your dog. Finally, check your dog for fleas and ticks regularly, especially if they spend time outdoors. If you find any, safely and carefully remove them immediately. If you are uncomfortable doing so, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
2. Avoid Potentially Dangerous Plants, Grasses, & Flowers
Spring is a time of growth and renewal, but it can also be dangerous for your dog if you're not careful. Many common spring plants are poisonous to dogs, and even innocuous-looking grasses can cause stomach issues. To keep your furry friend safe this season, take a few precautions. Make sure your yard is free of hazards like poisonous plants, flowers, or grasses. If you're not sure what's safe for your dog to eat, err on the side of caution and keep them away from all plants. Keep an eye on your dog when they're outside, whether you are on a walk or in your own yard. If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with a potentially poisonous plant or substance, call your veterinarian immediately! Don't take any risks.
3. Use Dog "Safe" Cleaning Products
Spring cleaning. How exciting is that?! Probably not something that you look forward to, but nonetheless, it's a great time to freshen our homes, inside and out. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm our pets, or expose them to harmful airborne toxins. To keep your dog safe during cleaning this spring, it is important to choose cleaning products that are specifically designed for use around dogs. These products will typically be labeled as "dog-safe" or safe for household pets, and will typically come in a variety of scents and formulations so you can find one that works best for your home. Whether you're tackling your kitchen cabinets or scrubbing down the patio furniture, choosing a dog-safe cleaning product will help to keep your pup healthy and happy throughout cleaning season!
4. Watch For Seasonal Allergies
As the weather warms up and flowers start to bloom, many people begin to suffer from seasonal allergies. But did you know that your dog can also be affected? Just like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies, and they often show similar symptoms, such as sneezing, sniffling, and watery eyes. If you notice your dog scratching more than usual or seem to be in discomfort, it could be a sign that they're suffering from allergies. If you suspect that your dog has seasonal allergies, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend a course of treatment to help relieve your dog's symptoms and make them more comfortable.
There are endless ways to create lasting memories with your dog this time of year. Whether you’re exploring a new trail or simply enjoying a leisurely walk around the block, spending time together in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of spring. So get out there and enjoy all that this season has to offer – with your dog by your side. Stay safe!