Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to start thinking about how to get ready for the warmer months ahead. Most people use this time of year to do some much-needed spring cleaning to organize and deep clean their homes, but did you know that your pet could also benefit from some spring maintenance? Getting your cat and dog ready for spring and summer is just as important as getting your home and family ready, too.
Is Your Pet Ready for Spring?
Winter can be a time of hunkering down and getting less exercise, eating more food, and letting health and maintenance checks fall behind. To shake off last winter, here are eight tips to get your pet ready for spring.
1) Head to the Groomer
Most cats and dogs grow an undercoat in the colder months, even if they don’t spend much time outdoors, and once the weather starts to warm up and days get longer, your cat and dog will probably start to shed more. Take your pet to the groomer to get their shedding under control. Getting bathed, scrubbed, brushed, and trimmed or shaved will help get rid of all their excess fur. You should also have their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, and anal sacks expressed to get them ready for spring and summer.
2) Get Their Teeth Cleaned
Spring is another great time to schedule dog teeth cleaning. Dental disease in dogs and cats can create many more health concerns. When you get their teeth cleaned regularly, you help prevent major problems like broken and missing teeth, bad breath, organ damage, and worsening disease development. Most importantly, you prevent your pet from being in pain. Cat dental cleaning is just as important as dogs’, so take all of your fur babies into an animal dental clinic to have their teeth and mouths thoroughly cleaned, examined, and x-rayed.
3) Watch for Outdoor Chemicals
Spring is when most people start tending to their lawns and gardens again. A lot of lawn treatments contain chemicals that are unsafe for your pets. Chemicals in fertilizers can burn their paws and cause them to get sick and vomit. When you take your pets for walks around parks and neighborhoods, look for any lawn signs indicating that recent work has been done, and keep your pets off that grass. If you think your pet walked on grass that was treated, wash their paws off when you get home.
4) Check for Allergies
Seasonal allergies aren’t just annoying for humans — they can affect your cat and dog, too. Animals don’t respond to allergies through their respiratory systems the way that we do; they get allergic reactions through their skin. If you observe your cat or dog itching more than usual, schedule an appointment with your vet to have them tested for allergies and be given an antihistamine to help with their symptoms.
5) Pest Prevention
Spring is the perfect time to start or continue heartworm treatments in your pet. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos, and mosquitos start coming out in the spring. Heartworms clog up pets’ organs and blood vessels and can ultimately lead to death if not treated. Spring is also when fleas and ticks are most active and when your pet will start spending more time outdoors. Get pest control started in the spring to protect your pet in the coming months.
6) Check Collars and Tags
Make sure that your pet’s collar, tags, and microchip are up to date. Your pet is going to be spending far more time outdoors now, and that means their chances of running off or getting out of your backyard are increased, too. Make sure the information on your pet’s tag and microchip is accurate in case they get lost.
7) Check Your Pets’ Weight
Most of us let our diets and exercise fall off during the winter months, and the spring is the best time to check your pet’s weight and get back on track. Make sure you’re feeding them a heart-healthy diet and getting them to exercise.
8) Check Your Yard
Make sure your fence doesn’t have any holes in it. You should also clean your roof and gutters because standing water attracts mosquitos.
Before spending lots of time outdoors, make sure that your pet is spring-ready. And remember that one of the most important things you can do for your pet, regardless of the season, is to engage in regular dog teeth cleaning and cat dental cleaning to prevent dental disease in dogs and cats.
For more information on how to get your pet spring-ready or if you’re looking for a new vet, contact us today.