As we near spring and the muddy thaw that ensues, it seems like the perfect time to talk about helping move our dogs from winter mode to SPRING!
As soon as the weather reached the high 30s we were all tossing off our heavy coats for the day. But we mindful to not ditch your dog’s sweater or coat, if he or she is acclimated to wearing one, because you know it is going to be cold periodically. If your dog is used to an extra later of warmth on cold days, don’t give him the shivers because you packed his stuff away too early! Half of all US states report an average springtime temperature in the 40s or lower. Remember: temperatures dip more in the early morning and evening, and that means there are a lot of cold walks still ahead. Pups and senior dogs are more vulnerable to frigid temperatures. So are small breeds and those breeds with thin coats.
Here are a few safety considerations for your dog as springtime pushes its way in:
- Just because the calendar says its spring doesn’t mean the weather feels like it. Springtime can have some spans that are as cold as winter, plus there is an increased risk of lightning and thunderstorms as the season progresses!
- Use some TLC with older dogs with joints that may stiffen in brisk spring weather. Use caution and consider the length of your walk with the temperature of the day.
- Speaking of walking, watch out for pot holes and broken pavement from the winter. It can hurt you and your pooch if you step into something sharp, lose your balance and fall, twist an ankle stepping into a pot hole, etc.
- Puddles are not meant to be water stops! Chemicals used to melt roadway snow can end up in those puddles on the side of the road. Even the lawn puddles could contain garden and lawn chemicals. Teach your dog to ONLY drink from his water bowl.
- Melting snow + rain showers = mud! Keep your dog’s paws clean and dry, and use care not to walk those tender paws into salt and deicer which is very likely still on the roads. And if he does get into anything, wash those paws before he tries to lick them clean!
- Coolant and antifreeze are lethal to dogs. Store them away from pets and make sure that your vehicle is not leaking fluids, especially since your dog will begin to spend more time outside.
- Check all your door and window screens for damage. Springtime breezes through a damaged screen can make an easy escape route for a pet determined to follow his nose!
- Springtime flowers will start to shoot up, too , and some can be toxic if ingested by your pooch
- As soon as the temps warm we can expect the nasty little fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry heartworms, ticks are responsible for Lyme disease and fleas bring their share of grief so talk to your veterinarian NOW about protection!
Speaking of the veterinarian, clinics begin to see an increase in kennel cough as spring progresses, thanks to dog to dog contact increasing. This would be the perfect time to make sure your dog’s vaccinations and medications are up to date…and your cat’s, too!