Tips for preparing your dog for spring
I know we may seem a little hopeful thinking about spring with so much snow still on the ground, but before you know it, spring will be here. And just like getting your dog prepared for our endless cold/snowy/windy/slushy/icy/rainy winters, we need to do the same for spring!
Keep up with your dog’s heartworm prevention treatment
Heartworms are a big threat to your dog’s health. Heartworm disease can cause chronic damage to the heart, lungs and arteries and can become fatal. When the weather warms up, bugs like mosquitoes that spread heartworms and other parasites become more active. Make sure to see your vet and have them recommend the right treatment for your dog.
Flea and Tick Prevention
While you’re at the vet, why not get your pups flea and tick medication updated. In recent years, we have seen a large increase in the tick population in our area. Fleas and ticks feed on the blood of mammals and can also spread disease and parasites such as Lyme Disease.
Time for a diet?
The winter months can be a less active time for dogs and cause them to gain weight. Now would be the good time to start planning a new eating plan that will help strengthen their bones, joint and muscles. These dog-friendly snacks will help:
- raw carrots and celery
- cooked plain sweet potatoes
- steamed broccoli and green beans
- apple slices (NO SEEDS. They are poisonous to dogs)
- fresh watermelon
Plan for more exercise
Start taking your dog on more walks or longer walks. Our long winters prevent our dogs from spending too much time outdoors, so don’t go crazy and bring them on long hikes or high-impact activities. A slow and steady increase will make it more fun and safer for your dog.
You may want to start thinking of how to deal with your dog’s winter coat. When the weather starts to warm up, they will shed those winter coats. If you don’t already have one, pick up a good brush that will help gather the loose hairs and prevent those wild fluff balls from building up in the corners of your house.
If you have a backyard and you enjoy gardening, then that most likely means your dog will be outside with you, enjoying your hard labour by smelling and tasting some of your freshly planted flowers and plants. But be careful! Some outdoor plants and flowers are hazardous to your pup’s health. Here are few you should avoid:
The Humane Society has a more exhaustive list here https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/plants-may-poison-your-pets?credit=web_id80910746