Hip, Hop, Hooray! Spring is on the way!
As the season starts to change, each day bringing with it more sunshine and warmth, our four-legged friends naturally want to begin spending more and more of their time outside. But with this, spring also brings a unique set of challenges that each pet owner must face in order to ensure their animal’s long-term health and happiness!
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get us all through the upcoming months!
Check Your ID!
Now that our pets are going to be spending more time outside it is extremely important to check that their collars and ID tags are intact. Make sure that their collar does not need replacement and that it still fits them snuggly (but not tightly). Also check that their ID tag has your current phone number and address, clearly printed and easy to read!
Return of the Bugs!
With the return of the sun, grass, and flowers, we sadly also must deal with the return of pesky bugs! Flies, fleas, ticks…the list goes on! Keep your four-legged friends safe by talking to your trusted veterinarian about which monthly topical medication or pill routine will work best to prevent your pet from becoming a springtime bug buffet!
Do not forget about the internal pests! When your animal drinks from a stream or makes new friends at the park, they are putting themselves at risk for contracting any number of different internal parasites such as heartworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms being the most common.
And the bees! Dogs love to chase and bite at the bees hard at work and rarely learn their lesson when stung! If your dog is stung by a bee and begins showing signs of swelling or irritation contact your veterinarian immediately!
As your pet’s activity levels change so will their nutritional needs. Spring showers and snow melt can lead to an explosion of growth within your pasture or garden, which is often very tempting for our animal friends! Horses will gorge themselves on fresh, nutrient-rich grass that can be a shock to their digestive systems after a diet of mostly hay, and if left unchecked can lead to issues with weight gain or high blood insulin levels.
As always make sure that your furry friends ALWAYS have access to fresh, clean water! They will start needing more and more water as the weather warms and their outside time increases.
Keep ‘em Nice and Pretty!
Now that the weather is warmer our furry friends no longer need their thick winter coats and will start to shed their hair very quickly! Spend some extra attention to their grooming, by brushing them more frequently than usual, it will save you time cleaning all their hair out of your house and car.
With spring showers leading to wet and muddy pastures horses are also at risk for different fungal and bacterial skin conditions. Make sure to pay special attention to their skin condition and look for any signs of rain rot, girth itch, dew poisoning, and scratches before they put your horse at risk. Contact your veterinarian if any of these conditions arise.
Do not forget about their feet! Horses with overgrown or poorly taken care of hooves can result in laminitis (founder), thrush, cracks, contracted heels, etc.
A Majesty’s Recommendation
Majesty’s makes both Skin & Coat supplement wafers (for dogs) and Omega supplement wafers (for horses) that will help give them the skin, coat, and immune support they can always benefit from!
Let Your Garden Grow…With Care!
Pet parents, beware! Fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients can be dangerous when ingested by our animal friends! Always keep these products out of reach of any pets and follow all instructions carefully.
Many popular springtime plants, such as rhododendron and azaleas, are highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal when eaten. Before planting or bringing any plants inside check to see the effect they can have on your furry friends (even if you think they will not eat them, you never know)!
If at anytime you think your pet is ill or has ingested a possibly poisonous substance immediately contact your local veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
We are not the only ones that can suffer when allergy season makes its’ yearly appearance, our four-legged friends can be affected by them too! Pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants, and pollens. Allergic reactions can range from itching, sniffling, or sneezing to more life-threatening reactions such as anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your furry friend may have allergies or is having any type of allergic reaction, please contact your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.
Beware of the Bunny!
Pets are not the only ones who are tempted by the Easter Bunny’s treats! Candy and chocolate can affect your pet’s nervous system if ingested, while xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free candies and gum can be toxic in dogs. And it is not just the treats, but the basket itself too! Plastic grass and Easter eggs can look like a tempting treat to our pets, but when ingested it can lead to digestive blockages that can cause a lot of damage to their little bodies!
To keep your pets safe, place all Easter baskets, candy, and decorations out of your pet’s reach and make sure that you find ALL the Easter Bunny’s treats because otherwise your furry friend will!
Everyone looks forward to spring, even our pets, and if you keep their unique and changing needs in mind, we can all enjoy a healthy and happy spring together!
Author: Heather Carter