The temps are warming, the first flowers of the springtime season are making an appearance and after a cold winter, getting outside again feels like a new beginning.
Now is a good time to get your pups ready for outdoor adventures, travel, or simply lazing around in the springtime sunshine. Let’s make sure it’s a safe and fun time for your furballs.
Creepy-crawlies: If you’ve ever stepped on an engorged tick as you emerge from your morning slumber, it’s not an event you’ll soon forget. YUCK! Don’t forget about those mosquitos that can transmit heartworm disease to your dog…and your cats! Combat fleas, ticks and heartworm disease by ensuring your pets are protected with quality preventatives available through your veterinarian.
Get in Shape: Cuddling on the couch and binging on Netflix with my pup Rugby is one of my favorite winter-time activities. Yep, we’re both a little sluggish so we’re working up to more strenuous summer adventures. Short walks, smaller swim sessions and fewer tosses of the tennis ball will help avoid injuries early in the season.
Become a botanist: While manicured and exotic landscapes may look amazing, they can be deadly for pets. Before purchasing those sexy new plants, be sure they won’t be toxic if ingested by your pets. Keep an eye out for mushrooms too; they can be deadly. Keep fertilizer to an absolute minimum if you use it at all.
Wildlife: You may see animals that are normally nocturnal during the day as they seek out territory, a mate, or food for their young. No cause for alarm, but be mindful of pets where wildlife and their offspring are most likely to be present.
Vaccines and microchips: If you’re planning some travel, be sure your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date whether you decide to take them along or not. Boarding kennels, doggy daycares, groomers and some hotels, AirBnbs and resorts will require proof of vaccines. Double-check your contact information on your pet’s microchip just in case little Cleopatra slips out of her collar.
Hydrate: Now’s the time to put that spare water dish in your car. It’s better to have it and not need it. It’s a springtime ritual for us.
Poop bags: Stock up now and never be “that person” who leaves an unwanted calling card.
Sunscreen: It’s good for you, its good for your pet. Be especially cautious with white or light-colored dogs as they’re more sensitive to the sun’s rays. Talk to your vet about products that are safe to use.
Water Safety: We’re surrounded by water here in Hampton Roads. When I adopted my dogs, one of the first things I did was teach them to swim…just in case. Pay special attention to outdoor pools because Sprocket may have forgotten how to stay safe around your backyard oasis over the winter months. If you’re a boater or paddler, a lifejacket can be lifesaving if you’re taking your BFF along for the ride.
Have fun and explore: One of the greatest gifts dogs give us is a sense of adventure. Their lives are fleeting and aging happens far too quickly. Enjoy this time with them. It’ll mean the world to both of you. (Oh…and take LOTS of pictures!)