Is Your Pet Ready for Spring?
Updated: Jul 8
Is your pet ready for spring?
My dog Nellie and two cats Tootsie and Dexter have started to perk up in recent weeks. As I'm sure everyone's pets have begun to shake off the winter cobwebs, they are beginning to recognize that the weather is warming up and they'll be able to go outside more frequently. As such, I'd like to dedicate this blog post to the approaching warmer months of Spring and Summer, and to remind of you some ways to help protect your pets in some interesting situations. I will be going over some Pet First Aid Tips, and Spring Cleaning ideas to help guide your pets through a more exciting time of the year.
Pet first aid tips
As April is Pet First Aid Month, it's a great example of now being the time to take a few minutes and learn some ways in which you can make your pet's life safer and easier than ever. If interested, there are three essential safety tips that involve one of your favorite activities (I'm assuming), which is spending more time than ever with your four-legged friend.
1. Take a class in pet first aid.
Learning how to help your pet in an emergency, especially in critical moments before a vet takes over, is important to do. A simple and easy course will teach you lifesaving skills such as CPR, how to help a pet that is having difficulty breathing or is choking, and also what to do when your pet gets into something that is toxic. Skills such as learning how to take a dog's pulse and other vital signals, and how to care for the pet when they are in the midst of a struggle should definitely be practiced at home. Online video courses, such as at www.udemy.com are available and allow you to learn at your own convenience and pace.
2. Make your outings safer.
When traveling with your pet, it's common sense to want to buckle them up and keep them safe in the car on short or long trips. After all, a sudden vehicle stop could send your pet flying if they aren't properly buckled in. Unfortunately, standard safety belts in vehicles today are made solely for humans, and not for dogs or cats. Thankfully, several companies have risen to the challenge of creating safer restraints for your pet. Some, like Sleepypod, have passed stringent safety tests and have earned five-star vehicle crash test ratings from the Center for Pet Safety.
3. Master essential training commands.
Everyone loves the standard and typical commands - "Sit!" "Stay!" "Go pee!" But how many pets are familiar with and obey signals that will keep them safe from danger? Training your dog to obey commands such as "Come," "Leave it," "Drop it," and a sharp "Move, Please!" can help your pet in various situations that may arise. You can enroll in an obedience class, or easily check out many positive training videos available online for teaching dogs certain commands.
Along the lines of Pet First Aid, this is the time of year where people begin to think about Spring Cleaning. As a friendly courtesy, I'd like to remind you that there are many chemicals and cleaning products out there that are not only harmful to humans but to pets as well. Recognizing the need to keep your cleaning supplies safely stored away in a closed closet or in a cabinet will help keep your pet from harm. Now that it's Spring Cleaning season, it's a great time to familiarize yourself with basic safety procedures for pets while you're cleaning the home.
The EPA estimates that more than 50 percent of all indoor pollution is a direct result of household cleaning products (that's from Webvet.com). While people are vulnerable to the effects of exposure to chemicals in cleaning products, pets and companion animals are at an even greater risk of exposure due to their faster metabolisms and smaller lungs. As a result, pets process chemicals at a quicker rate and take more toxins into their bloodstream. I'm sure you're recognizing the point that I'm building up to: it just isn't worth it to prioritize a squeaky-clean home over your pet's health. Yes, you can definitely clean your home, but not to excess while your pets are around. Simultaneously, there are cleaner and safer alternatives out there.
Alternatives such as organic cleaning products are super safe for humans and pets. Choosing cleaning products that are non-toxic and pollutant/chemical-free are excellent ways to help your pet breathe easier. Certain brands like Zabada Clean (www.zabadaclean.com) and Natural Chemistry (www.chewy.com) are exemplary sites that showcase dog and cat-safe cleaning products with ready availability to purchase online. Remember, there are always a multitude of options out on the market, but do your due-diligence before purchasing by checking reviews and reading labels. If there is an ingredient that is hard to pronounce or one that you can't source from nature, get rid of it.
Switching to alternative cleaning products may be a bit much for you, but it will benefit yours and your pet's health in the long run as the long-term benefits outweigh the short term.
Here are a few more ideas for Spring Cleaning
1. Schedule a Check-up With a Vet
An annual or semi-annual Veterinarian visit with your pet is one of the best things you can do to ensure your pet is super healthy as the Spring weather arrives. Your vet will keep your pet up to date on vaccinations, they will clean the teeth of your pet, and will treat potential Spring-Time allergies.
2. Look For Allergies
Just like pet owners, pets can be affected by Spring-Time allergies. Allergies are incredibly important to treat with pets, as their comfort trumps all. If need be, talk to your vet about an antihistamine treatment.
3. Freshen That Fur
Dogs and cats tend to grow a thicker coat of fur during the colder months, even in more temperate climates. Here in Jersey, our pets definitely grow a thicker coat during the colder months. As such, contacting a groomer or freshening your pets fur coat as the weather warms will not only make them smell nicer and feel better, but will make them more comfortable. If your pet has especially coarse fur, consider taking them to a professional groomer.
4. Protect Against Pests
Unfortunately, the Spring-Time thaw attracts all sorts of pests, Ticks, fleas, flies, and all sorts of tiny nuisances awaken from their winter slumber to wreak havoc on our pets. To keep your living area and home pest-free, regularly administer those anti-parasitic medicines prescribed by your vet. They work wonders. Also, be sure to examine your pet regularly for fleas or ticks.
5. Eat Healthy
As the seasons change, having your pet eat healthy is of the utmost importance along with a regular health regimen (that includes regular Dog Walks which we can provide for you hint hint). Not keeping your dog in the best of physical fitness can lead to obesity problems down the road or diabetes which has become more common in dogs and cats in recent years. Fortunately, pets don't need to consume as many calories during the spring and summer months as they no longer need the extra fuel to keep warm from the colder months. Consider cutting back on your loved ones' caloric intake and increase their exercise regimen.
6. Tidy Up
Think about extending your Spring Cleaning to the pet supplies too. Tidying up the dog house, dog beds and blankets, as well as accessories and toys can go a long way to keeping allergens out of the home. Remember to regularly wash those food and water bowls!
Reminder to book Pet Sitting Services for the summer
I'd like to remind you all that the Summer months are approaching. If you’re going away or are thinking of going away and need someone to care for your pets, I hope that you'll consider Simply Yours Concierge and would book me for Pet Sitting visits. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, as I'm available this summer to assist with any needs that may arise. I’d love to help you so your vacation can be free of worry and full of fun and enjoyment.
Have a great first few weeks of Spring!