Spring is finally here.  Our pets and their families have had a long cold winter nestled in their homes and now it’s time to get outside!  Taking a few extra precautions as we begin this new season can ensure you and your pet have a safe and fun spring!

Shedding:  You might have noticed that your dog’s coat is sometimes more on your furniture then on your dog!  That’s because the days are getting longer and this triggers your dog to blow their winter coat and get ready for warmer weather.  Scheduling a shedding treatment with your groomer is a good idea and so is just giving a bath and brush out more frequently to help keep all that hair in check.

Exercise:  With the longer days it’s great to get outside and get a little longer walk in each day.  But remember to take it easy initially especially if you’ve not been doing a lot of walking during the winter months.  Your pet may take a few weeks to get back into top walking shape again after resting in front of the fireplace all winter.  Taking shorter, slower walks initially and then gradually increasing the distance and speed of your walks will help them transition safely.

Allergies:  Of course, the spring flowers and budding trees also come with copious amounts of pollen.  Your pet can inhale the pollen and also ingest it when they lick their paws and groom themselves.  Wiping their paws will help but sometimes they need a little extra help.  There are many great natural alternatives available which can significantly relieve their symptoms and your veterinarian will have some options too.

Gardens/Plants/Lawns: Spring is the time we get to play in the dirt – getting our gardens prepped for summer planting, our lawns looking green and healthy and our plant beds mulched and looking refreshed after winter.  Beware, however, that many of the common items we use in our gardens are toxic to pets.  Especially if their ingested, either through grooming or eaten in the yard.  The ASPCA has some great articles on both plant plant and garden safety for your pets.

Screens: There’s nothing like a fresh breeze coming through your home on a beautiful spring day but the key is to let the breeze in and keep your pets from going through the screen.  Many years ago our we found out our cats were getting out of our third floor window and exploring our home – from 30 feet up in the air!  Make sure the screens are tight and secure in all of your windows.

Car Travel: Spring and summer car trips are coming up. Make sure your pets are secure in your car either in a crate or in a seatbelt harness on your trips.  Our pets can be seriously injured in an accident and we can oftentimes be distracted with loose pets in the car.

Most of all, enjoy the beautiful weather, celebrate the spring flowers and anticipate the garden bounty coming later this year.