Springtime is the perfect season for dogs and their owners to head outside and have some fun. Tired and bored of cold winter days, both animals and their human friends are eager to soak in some sunshine and enjoy the fresh breeze. But no matter how lovely the spring season is, warm weather also brings some health risks for pets.
So, before you head out, here are some tips on helping your pet have fun and stay healthy while outside.
Spring means that streams, rivers and lakes will be full of fresh, cool water. Most dogs can’t resist and they will either drink it or swim in that water. While this may seem harmless and fun for your pet, it can also be dangerous.
Leptospirosis is a disease which they can get by sniffing urine or if urine contaminates a water source. Cold is supposed to kill the bacteria, but spring creates the perfect, although short-lived, conditions that can lead to the spread of the disease.
While your cat may be safe from this, your dog definitely isn’t. This is particularly true if there are rodents, racoons, rats, or skunks in your area. This disease is known to cause joint pain, high fever, and possible kidney failure in dogs.
If you think that your dog has this disease, you should take them to the vet immediately and get treatment. Your dog’s treatment will vary depending on their symptoms. If you want to prevent this completely and make sure your dog is safe before it even happens, you should consider vaccination against this particular disease as part of their usual health checks.
While it’s best to consult your vet before vaccination, it’s important to remember that the vaccinations for distemper or parvo may have negative interactions with the leptospirosis vaccine. Ask your vet for the best vaccination routine based on your pet’s records and previous visits.
Beware of Bugs
You’re probably aware that spring brings out insects like fleas and ticks. In many cases, these insects can be more than just a mild annoyance, causing disease or introducing other parasites. Some parasites can even survive the winter when frozen, so it’s best to prevent your pup from eating anything you wouldn’t normally put in their bowl.
To prevent your dog from getting these parasites, you should clean your yard after winter and then often during spring. You should also check your pets for fleas and ticks often. There are flea medicines available and it’s recommended to consider getting them monthly.
Ticks are dangerous because they might carry Lyme disease which can also survive winter. The most common places to find ticks are your dog’s ears, legs, belly and under the chin. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your dog’s behavior, you should take them to the vet. Signs to watch out for include refusal to eat or drink, walking with a limp or an appearance of being in pain.
In case you notice a tick, put on gloves and then remove ticks with tweezers. Avoid tearing the skin or tick, as it may introduce an additional risk of infection for your pet.
Flowers and allergies
You’d think that flower and pollen allergies only happen to humans, however, they also happen to pets. Not all flowers will do this, but some of these might:
- Tulips and Hyacinth – These flowers contain alkaloids and lactones which can cause mouth and throat irritation for dogs.
- Lily of the Valley – It’s toxic to dogs and cats, causing seizures, vomiting, slower heart rate and other problems. Asiatic, Easter and Tiger lily are fatal mostly to cats because even just three to four petals cause kidney failure.
- Fertilizers – These can be a risk as well because they can contain disulfoton which can kill dogs even in small amounts. Keep this in mind when choosing a fertilizer.
Take your dog to places that don’t have these flowers. If you have a garden, make sure that your pet is protected from the fertilizer. If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Dogs love to dig – it’s one of their favourite activities. However, they might discover some dead animals and ingesting their body parts can cause serious issues like diarrhoea, vomiting, and so on.
More severe cases might also involve bleeding, constipation, loss of appetite, or blood in the stool. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Spring is truly a wonderful time to be outside. The sun is shining, the nature blooming, and your dog can finally enjoy a proper run. However, you should keep a close eye on your pet to keep them healthy and happy for many springs to come. Animals love to dig, eat, and play in nature, so be sure to keep their vaccinations and health checks regular!