Spring is here, which means that you can start to enjoy the outdoors with your favorite pooch again! While you may be excited at the prospect of all that quality time exercising and exploring, you'll need to give some thought to the safety of your pet. The great outdoors have their hazards, after all, and you don't want your fun time together to be ruined because you didn't take some basic precautions. Here are six things that you can do to ensure that your dog is safe when you head outside this spring!
1. Check their Paws after Walks
With the weather finally warming up, many of the roads and sidewalks will now be covered in leftover salt and snow-melting chemicals. As time goes on, these will be washed away by the rain, but for the moment they're still in evidence in some parts of the country – and being applied directly to your dog's feet every time you take them out. In order to keep your dog from licking these hazardous substances, inspect and wash their paws after every walk.
2. Don't use Sticks for Fetch
Heading outdoors to play fetch or a friendly game of tug-of-war with your dog can be fun, but don't use those sticks or branches left behind from winter. Sticks can damage your dog's mouth, as well as pose a choking hazard. Instead, use a rubber chew toy, Frisbee or tennis ball for springtime fun.
3. Start Tick Prevention Early
Unfortunately, warmer weather means bugs. Ticks can transmit diseases to your pet, and fleas are incredibly hard to get out of your house once they've started breeding and laying eggs. The good news about this as it relates to your dog is that you can avoid the problem entirely by taking some early preventative action. Pick up flea and tick prevention for dogs now, before they've hurt your pet or hitched a ride into your home.
4. Dogs Can Have Allergies Too
Dogs are just as susceptible to seasonal allergies as their owners are, so keep an eye out for any reactions. Things like pollen, flowering trees, dust, tulips, and even mold can spur an allergic reaction in a dog. Some of their symptoms could include sneezing, itching, coughing, oily-feeling fur, and flaky skin. If these symptoms persist, take your furry friend to visit the vet so that they can be properly diagnosed and allergy medicines can be recommended for them.
5. Watch Out for New Plants and Pesticides
As mentioned above, blooming flowers and plants are one of the defining characteristics of spring, but they can look like tempting treats to dogs. Many dogs are already fond of grass, but some other plants are harmful and even poisonous to them and can cause a variety of problems if digested, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and even death. Make it a habit to keep a close eye on your dog when outside and don't let them chew on anything that you aren't sure about. In addition, be careful about letting your dog eat the grass. While the grass itself isn't usually harmful to your dog, the pesticides that many people put on their lawns in spring are!
6. Pet-Friendly Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is almost a national event at this point, as people all over clean the clutter and dust that has accumulated in their homes over the winter. However, when you own a pet, you have to be a little more careful than most about the process. One of the best ways to do this is to use pet-friendly, non-toxic cleaners that won't harm your dog if they get into them or come in contact with areas that you just cleaned. Also, it's always smart to keep cleaning products stored in a safe location that is out of your dog's reach, for extra safety.
At Vet Supply Source, we want to help you keep your dog safe and healthy year round. Check out our preventative products and keep reading our blog for more tips on pet care!