As the days begin to get longer, the weather warmer, and spending more time outside means that Spring has sprung! Our thoughts now turn to Easter celebrations, preparing our yards and gardens, and home improvement projects. Before you begin your seasonal chores, be sure to make sure that your pets are safe.
Avoid the Weekend Warrior Syndrome
It happens each spring: the first warm weekend is finally here and people think they need to make up for months of being inside. They take themselves and their dog outside and decide to take a long walk, hike the favorite mountain trail, or play catch or Frisbee in the yard. Whatever it happens to be, it is too much and someone gets hurt. Remember to take it easy if you’ve been inactive during the winter. Warm up your muscles and your dog’s before the activity and allow for a cool down period. Gradually build up your strength and endurance and understand that your dog needs the same, especially the older pets. What is only a few months for you is more like two to three years for them. If something happens, and you overdo it, be sure to have your pet checked out right away. The sooner you have even a minor injury looked at and treated, the sooner you can both return to your favorite activity.
Spring clean carefully
Spring cleaning and home improvement time is a tradition in many households. Be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ reach! Many cleaning agents, fertilizers, pesticides, weed-killers and even mulch, including natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key is to use them safely and to read and follow the label directions for proper usage and storage. *If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.
We all know that dogs love to feel the wind in their faces, but allowing them to ride in the back of the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving car windows is dangerous. Remember the movie “Marley and Me” where the dog jumps out of the car window while the car was moving? Flying debris and insects can cause major injury to eyes and ears, and also cause lung infections. Sudden stops or turns can cause major injury, or they can be thrown from the vehicle. Dogs riding in cars should always be secured in either a crate or a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
Pesky Little Critters
As the warmer weather brings us outside, it also brings out those pesky bugs. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your dog being on a year-round heartworm preventative medication. If you have been off heartworm preventive, be sure to have your pet tested prior to starting again. If you wait until you see fleas and ticks in your house, it’s too late to prevent them. Be sure to have your dog on a flea and tick program now so they don’t bring them in the house. There are lots of wonderful programs for you to discuss with your vet to have the best one for you and your pet.
Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.
Give Back this Spring
As the days get longer in the spring, it also means that pets go into “heat”. For our stay, homeless and neglected dogs, this means unwanted litters. Our local shelters and rescues are stretched during the spring due to the volume of animals brought in, either the Christmas puppy that is now not wanted, or the new puppies just born. Do what you can to help. Volunteer, help with an adoption day, foster, or help them raise money.
Enjoy all that the season has to offer, but do it with some planning and foresight.
For information on how to train your dog, contact us at Sit, Stay,’N Play. We are located at 1501 North 5th Street in Stroudsburg. 570.872.9748 or online at www.sitstaynplay.net Did we mention that a trained dog is a happy dog?