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Updated 01 September 2016

5 easy ways to keep your dog healthy this spring

Spring is a great season for dogs as they get to spend a lot more time outside after a long winter cooped up indoors.

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Now that spring’s arrived, your dog’s pent-up energy that has been building up over the winter months can finally be released. 

It’s just as much fun for us watching them as they cavort around, enjoying every moment. We do however need to be aware that spending time outside comes with certain health concerns, and ensure that our four-legged friends are prepared for spring in every way.

Heartworm disease

Depending on where you live, mosquitos become more active during spring – and they have the ability to transmit heartworm disease.

Dog owners are advised that heartworm medication should be given all year round as a preventative measure. With our climate becoming warmer, more mosquitoes stay around during the cold season and they remain active for longer periods each year.

However, many owners do not take preventative measures during winter and should take the opportunity during spring to check whether their dog has heartworm disease. It’s in both parties’ interest because treating this disease is a lot more expensive than preventing it.

Pet health

Ticks and fleas

Dealing with a flea and tick infestation can be a nightmare for dog owners. A host of products are on the market that may help you combat this problem, and consulting your veterinarian is advisable as prevention is once again a far smaller problem than dealing with the nuisance of an infestation.

Owners should get into the habit of regularly checking their dogs for ticks. According to Dogsandticks.com, owners should make sure to check ears, neck, chest and forelegs especially. And, depending on how long and dense the coat of your dog is, it can be easier to feel for ticks, instead of looking for them. 

Pet health

Get those vaccinations up to date

Spring is the season to ensure that your canine’s vaccinations are up to date because dog to dog contact increases rapidly from now on out into the summer months. This makes your dog more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Visits to veterinary clinics always spike during spring owing to kennel cough, otherwise known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. This is primarily spread through contact with other infected dogs.

Pet health

Dogs and gardening

If you thought you were the only one that enjoys gardening, think again. Dogs enjoy digging just as much as we do and it’s therefore important to carefully select what you plant in your garden. It’s best to avoid toxic bulbs such as hyacinths, tulips, daffodils and certain lilies. 

Pesticides and fertilizers also tend to be toxic and should be stored in a shed or locked up in a place that’s inaccessible to your dogs. All in all, it’s generally best to keep your four-legged friends completely out of the garden.

Pet health

General spring cleaning

There are many household products that are extremely harmful to dogs, so store these in a safe place when you’re not using them and follow instructions carefully to avoid accidents.

And with spring often comes rain as well, which means muddy paws. To dry your dogs’ paws and keep your house and car clean, keep a towel close to outside doors or in the car.

Keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy, and you’re sure to be rewarded by a spring in their step!

Pet health

Read more:

Main diseases in dogs

Dogs pick out faces of other dogs

Dogs use same parts of brain as humans to process language

Resources:

- Cesar’s Way: Spring health tips. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/weather-care/spring-health-tips

 
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