It’s that wonderful time of year again – warm weather, disappearing snow, blossoms and birds singing! Many of us feel an urge to clean and declutter, with the invigorating feel of fresh air and warmth on our faces and skin. As we look around our homes and yards, we can see the winter boots and jackets to put away to make room for lighter clothing, and the garbage on the grass that the snow has been hiding. Our pets could also use some freshening up; a great time to get some of those “not so fun to do but great to get off the list” types of chores finished. Here are a few ideas to put your best “paw” forward, and “spring” into the season:
1) Clean the yard. Yes, all those “piles” that have been sitting there when we just let the dog “go outdoors.” Let’s get rid of the poop piles so we can have the neighbours over, and make sure we decrease the risk of parasites. When is the last time we really scrubbed out the litterbox? Give the box a good soak and cleaning. If those boxes have been around for a while and are still a bit smelly, invest in a nice new one to help minimize odours.
2) The pet supply box. We all have a box or an area where we store brushes, collars, toys and old medication. Take a couple minutes to ensure toys are in good condition and discard any expired medication.
3) Pet beds. Yes, those hairy things in the corner. Is it time for a good wash and tumble in the dryer, or even time for a new one?
4) The ever-present fur. Shedding is a natural seasonal occurrence. Your pet will benefit from some daily grooming or even a nice spa day at the groomers. Coat maintenance helps to release natural oils in the skin and removes dead hair and skin.
5) Wellness. Times flies when you’re having fun, or just trying to escape all the “great” Canadian weather by laying low for the winter. Is your pet due for its yearly check-up? When was your pet’s last visit to the vet? There are many things you can do to keep your pet healthy. Your doctor wants you to know this, and help you keep your pets home and healthy. Many changes can occur in a year that goes unnoticed, so book an exam with your vet.
6) Parasite control. If your pets venture outdoors, it’s never too early to start flea and tick control. Your dog may need a heartworm test for the heartworm preventative. Fleas and ticks will come indoors, whether on their own or with your pets. Prevention keeps you and your pets safe. Put your mind at ease and keep your pet safe with monthly parasite prevention.
7) Nails – so small and yet very important. Is it time to have your pets’ nails trimmed? Have a look and book.
8) Exercise. Good heart health and ideal weights are just as important for our pets as it is for humans. Start a gradual exercise program now that ideal outdoor weather and footing are available. Pets can overdo it like us, so be sure to start slow. Be sure to contact your vet if your pet is older, taking medication, or you’re not sure how much exercise your pet should have. Your pet will appreciate your thoughtfulness!
Written by Dr. Rhonda Boulter, DVM