Spring has finally sprung and while us humans are dealing with the adjustment (a new spring wardrobe, stocking up on allergy medication, kicking exercise routines into high gear) our pets are too adjusting to the change in weather. As their parents, it is up to us to make the transition as easy as possible for them.
Here are four things you can do to help:
Check for Allergies
Dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies. There are certain grasses that come up in the sprint time, dust mites, fungus, pollen, fleas and other insects including cockroaches, can have a big impact on your pet.
If you notice coughing, sneezing, itching, licking of paws and paw pads you should contact your Vet to discuss any concerns and to schedule an appointment as early in the season as possible to mitigate any suffering your pet may be experiencing.
It may be as simple as cleaning out your air conditioner vents, but other animals may require immune therapy or even small shots. Testing for allergies is a very simple and easy process that can usually be handled with a blood or saliva test.
Ease into Exercise
When exercise increases so do injuries! Since activity levels tend to decrease during the cold Winter months you’ll want to ease your dog back into running and frolicking. Of course, you’ll want your dog to get a lot of exercises and shed the extra weight they may have gained during the Winter but do it slowly. Think about how you would feel going from 10-minute walks in the Winter to 6-mile runs in the Spring without any training. Build up to longer distances or increased time spent running.
Take note and watch for subtle changes in gait, running, or sudden lameness. Contact your Vet at the first sign of an issue. There are many simple solutions to help heal your pet without surgery including massage, chiropractic treatments, laser therapy, acupuncture, and stretching.
Take a break from your Spring cleaning and take a minute to review your dog’s vaccines. Distemper and Parvo, as well as Rabies, should be up-to-date. Your dog will be around a lot of other dogs and there will also be an increased number of wild critters around so make sure you protect your dog. Last year there was an outbreak of distemper in Central Park raccoons, which lead to several raccoon attacks on humans and dogs. Take precaution and make sure your dog is vaccinated.
Prevent Fleas and Ticks
Yes, the weather is beautiful but that also means it is flea and tick season. Talk to your Vet about which monthly flea and tick control is right your pet. Every product is a little different and not all treatments are right suited for every dog. There are also natural products available on the market if you want to take a more holistic approach.