“The snow has not yet left the earth, but spring is already asking to enter your heart. If you have ever recovered from a serious illness, you will be familiar with the blessed state when you are in a delicious state of anticipation, and are liable to smile without any obvious reason. Evidently that is what nature is experiencing just now. The ground is cold, mud and slush squelch under foot, but how cheerful, gentle and inviting everything is. The sun is shining brightly, and its playful, beaming rays are bathing in the puddles along with the sparrows. The river is swelling and very soon will begin to roar. The trees are already living and breathing – It is spring!!!”

–Anton Chkhov

Spring has officially arrived – a time of fabulous re-awakening from the doldrums of winter weather and confinement, but while spring is an awesome time of year, it also presents dangers for pets which are not as prevalent in the winter months, so it is important to spring into action for you four-footed companions..

  • Springtime is often breeding time for many animals, and if you have not had your pet altered, don’t delay any longer. Unfortunately millions of animals end up in shelters every year, many the result of unplanned (and unwanted) litters. Do your part to prevent overpopulation.
  • Fleas, ticks, and other parasites become really active in Spring. Though these pests can be present year-round, their populations tend to increase drastically in spring time and they are more than just a nuisance. Diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many others can be transmitted by ticks, and fleas can transmit diseases such as tapeworms. By preventing these problems, your pet, as well as you and your home , will be healthier.
  • If your dog isn’t on year-round heartworm preventative, it is important to start up again, and your vet will probably want to run a quick blood test to ensure that he is heartworm negative. . Heartworm disease is a potentially devastating disease that can cause heart failure and potentially death if left untreated Treatment is costly and can be difficult. Prevention is the key in heartworm disease,
  • Warm weather will mean more visits to dog friendly places, so it is important that dogs are up to date on all vaccinations. Spring is also a great time to have an overall health check up!
  • Spring is the common time to fertilize your lawn. Be sure to use pet safe products, and still keep your animals off the grass for the entire time recommended. Make sure that your garden is safe, and be careful if you use any pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Avoid using cocoa shell mulch, as it is toxic to dogs.
  • Many household cleaners used for spring house cleaning are downright dangerous to your dog, containing contain chlorine, ammonia or foaming agents that are harmful to pets, so it is important to use them carefully, and store them in a secure location away from curious animals.
  • Some plants and flowers are toxic to dogs…species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils, tulips, spring bulbs, and azaleas. For a complete list of toxic plants, google ASPCA..poisonous plants.
  • Most cases of wasp or bee stings are not emergencies, but with a bee sting, check and remove the sting if it is still in place…then bathe the area in a mixture of one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a cup of warm water. With wasp stings, bathe the area with malt vinegar or lemon juice. If your dog is stung in or on the mouth or neck, you may need to seek veterinary help.
  • Just as with people, spring-time can bring on allergies for many dogs…they may develop allergies to plants, pollens, fleas, and many other substances. Allergies in dogs most commonly show up as skin problems, and scratching may cause hair loss or inflamed skin. Respiratory symptoms or runny eyes may also occur, and will require vet care.

“Spring is far more than just the changing of seasons. It’s a rebirth of the spirit for both two legged humans and four legged canines. Spring is a welcome, wondrous, sensory overload.”

–Toni Sorenson