4 Springtime Fresh Safety Tips For Dogs
What is that we finally see? Could it be? Yes, it is! A patch of grass! The snow is melting, the sun is shining, spring is here! We are so happy to see winter go so we can spend more time with our dogs outside. But before you put away those heavy winter jackets and woolly hats and head outdoors, we’re got a few spring safety tips to pass along.
Dog Poop: This is a big pet peeve of mine. People think that just because it’s cold, they don’t have to pick up their dog’s poop. They believe that since it’s a poopsicle, it’s not going to hurt anyone. I think that’s wrong on a few different levels. 1. Poop is gross, fresh or frozen; 2. It’s even grosser when it unfreezes three months later and you can’t clean it up. Now, this poopy mess becomes part of the landscape and people and dogs walk through it (most likely, dogs). It comes it your home, gets tracked all over the floors and furniture and your dog licks it off his paws. This old poop is full of parasites and bacteria that have been festering in it for months, some of which include giardia, coccidian, roundworm, and tapeworm. These nasty bugs can make your dog pretty sick and are easy to pass along to other animals. Keep a towel, cloth or cleaning products (like the PawPlunger or Soggy Doggy Super Shammy) at the door to wipe off the muck and possible poop off your dog’s paws before he brings it into the house. It’s a couple of extra minutes that won’t put your dog through the anguish of a painful illness and you through the anguish of a painful vet bill.
Standing Water: Everything is melting and there sure is a lot of water. On long walks, your dog is going to find it tempting to lap it up. But those puddles can be filled with harmful bacteria (such as giardia). This can cause upset stomach or diarrhea. To make sure that your dog resists the urge to drink this water, bring your own bottled water from home, along with a portable water dish.
Broken Bottles/Garbage: With spring comes spring cleaning. Everyone is cleaning out their closets, getting rid of the old to make way for the new. And they’re not always careful when they’re throwing out their garbage. Garbage bags break, sharp objects get loose and make their way out onto lawns where our dogs are sniffing around. A piece of broken glass can easily become embedded in the paw. As well, it seem like during the winter, quite a few people seem to have forgotten that garbage cans exist and have just thrown cans and bottles wherever it was convenient. The snow has melted, reveling an eyesore of a mess, which also has the potential of being a landmine to tender paws. If your dog happens to step on something sharp and cuts himself, get him home as soon as possible so you can clean out the wound. It needs to be sanitized and possibly dressed. If the wound is deep, you’ll need to take him to the vet for stitches and antibiotics.
Fleas and Ticks: Oh, those nasty pests! As soon as the temperature starts to go up, these little buggers come out of hiding and hop onto our dogs for a free meal. It’s time to start thinking of flea and tick prevention. Whatever you decide to do – veterinarian-prescribed medication, holistic treatment, or over-the-counter products – you need to start applying them now. Flea and ticks are active in North America anywhere from April to November, which are also high-risk months for Lyme Disease. To ensure your dog is protected, talk to your vet.
Do you have any spring safety tips to add to this list? If you do, please add them in the comment section below. We want to hear from all of the pet parents out there!
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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