With more daylight, bluer skies and hints of bright colour returning to nature, it won’t be long until we can say spring has officially sprung. In the lead-up to warmer weather, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your pet is comfortable, energised and healthy in the upcoming months – from a trip to the groomers to their latest vaccinations and new, fun ways to stay hydrated.
Now’s the best time to start preparing for the changing of the seasons, and get yourself and your pet ready to spring into action. Read on for our top tips and advice to get spring-ready.
1. Get ready for spring socialising
With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s important that your pet is prepared and protected for any upcoming social time. Before the excitement of the return of outdoor play and new playdates can fully settle, make sure that all of your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. If you’re hesitant about which vaccinations your pup or tabby requires, you can always check with your vet – be mindful of the fact that not every animal will need to be vaccinated against every disease.
2. Look out for allergies
As with humans, cats and dogs can also suffer with more severe allergies as we slowly transition into spring. To spot these allergies, keep an eye out for symptoms such as excessive scratching, licking or hair loss, and for hay fever-like symptoms, such as sneezing and a runny nose. It may be worth investing in over-the-counter medication to help treat your pets, and definitely take a trip to the vets if there’s no sign of improvement.
3. Fight the fleas and ticks
Fleas and ticks are a nuisance for all involved, and even more so with the increased appearance of these creepy critters in warmer months. Be on the lookout for signs that fleas and ticks have been hanging around where they’re not wanted – like itchy skin, small black marks and raised bumps – and it’s worth having an extra check if they’ve spent a long time outside, especially if they enjoy playing in long grass. Make sure not to squeeze the tick's body or leave the head in as this will increase the chance of your pet contracting a disease. The trick is to twist the tick off using a tick removal tool, which can be picked up at pet shops or the vets.
To prevent infections, you can purchase skin rinses and tablets, which will also help with symptoms, and be sure to visit the vet or seek advice online if you have questions or need help with tick removal.
4. Pamper your pet
After many months of growing a thick winter coat, our furry friends are now ready to shed. For you, this means dedicating a little more time to pampering your pet (and vacuuming!). Whether this is booking a special visit to the groomers, or giving it a go yourself with regular baths and brushes, it’s important to keep up a grooming schedule to ensure your pet doesn’t get too warm or hurt themselves now they can spend more moments outside.
5. Get ready for garden play
Wind, rain and snow are bound to have made an appearance at some point over the winter season, so it’s time to revisit the garden and check it’s totally pet-proof. Some particular things to look out for are: making sure there’s enough shade for your pet to rest in, fixing any damage to fences, and removing any plants and flowers that could be harmful to your pet. Check out which plants are harmful to animals here.
6. Watch out for worms
Spring brings us many great things – longer days, blue skies and warmer weather, to name but a few – yet that also means the appearance of pesky mosquitos. Mosquito bites can unfortunately infect cats and dogs with heartworm – a disease that can cause severe lung disease, heart failure and, in worst case scenarios, even death. Luckily, a quick trip to the vets can provide you with heartworm prevention medication that can protect your dog all-year round!
7. Keep key ID info up to date
As more outdoor play is slowly added to the agenda, making sure your pet is identifiable is more important than ever. Check that collars still fit after your pet has shed their winter coat, and that microchips contain the most up-to-date information so they can be traced back to you if they ever find themselves away from home. It’s also a great time to ensure ID tags are legible, and if your pet isn’t microchipped, now’s the perfect opportunity to make it happen! Remember, it’s compulsory for dogs by the age of eight weeks, and soon will be for cats too.
8. Prepare your home for warmer weather
Put a spring in your pet’s step by enabling them to come in and out of your home easily and rest comfortably. To prepare for warmer months, make sure cat flaps and dog doors are in working order, and that your cat or dog’s house is up to scratch. Additionally, it’s essential that your furry friend stays hydrated and cool in the increasing heat – invest in a water fountain to increase your pets interest in wetting their noses.
As always, if you have any questions or worries, it’s always best to visit your vet as they will be able to give you personalised advice so your furry friend receives the best possible care.