It's that time of year again: The weather is nice and the last place you (and your pup) want to be is indoors. Make sure your dog is ready to enjoy the warm weather by taking action on these seven summer pet care tips.
1. Keep your dog up-to-date on heartworm meds
While you should be administering heartworm meds all year, it is of paramount importance that you stay on top of this task during the warmer months, with the transmission of heartworms at its peak during mosquito season.
2. Stay on top of flea and tick prevention
Just like with heartworm prevention, now is not the time to get lazy with flea and tick prevention meds! Fleas can be seen all year round; they are pretty dormant in the winter but come back out with a vengeance in warmer weather. Don't let your pet get caught in their path because they are extremely hard to get rid of. And just like fleas, ticks come out in full force once the weather gets nice; their breeding season is April, May and June. Stay on top of these prevention meds and you and your pet can sleep soundly at night.
3. Keep your pet pesticide-free
Speaking of pests, commonly-used flea and tick products, as well as rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to pets if ingested, so keep them out of reach of your dog.
4. Watch out for windows
Beware of "high-rise syndrome," in which pets fall out of windows and are seriously or fatally injured. This happens more frequently in warm weather because windows tend to be open. Make sure to keep all unscreened windows in your home closed, and make sure all adjustable screens are tightly secured, especially if you have windows on a second or third level.
5. Practice proper grooming
If your bathing ritual with your pup has fallen off a little bit (or completely) during the winter months, you're going to want to get back on track come spring and summer. Visits to the dog park, walks in the woods, hikes, visits to the beach, you name it: Fido is definitely outdoors more in the spring and summer and he or she deserves some much-needed TLC. A bath every few weeks is a great idea; any more than that can irritate the skin (although a swim in the swamp may necessitate an emergency shower!). Additionally, give your pup a nice brushing once a week; it'll feel great and keep his or her coat looking nice and shiny.
6. Alleviate allergies
Just like you, your dog can get allergies. (But, unlike humans who claim to be allergic to dogs, dogs don't claim to be allergic to humans. Food for thought.) Airborne allergens in the spring can cause problems for your pooch, including sneezing, coughing, increased scratching, runny eyes and vomiting. If you think your dog could be suffering from seasonal allergies, set up an appointment with your vet for an official diagnosis.
7. Get your pup microchipped
If your pet isn't already microchipped, now's the time to get on it! Your dog spends exponentially more time outside when it's warm out, which unfortunately increases the chance that he or she could get out. Make sure man's (or woman's) best friend always finds his or her way way back home with a microchip.