Fleas and heartworms: Warmer temperatures will bring back the fleas and mosquitoes seemingly overnight. If you have stopped your pet’s flea treatment, now is a good time to restart (before an infestation). If you have stopped or skipped your dog’s heartworm preventative, now is a good time to get your dog tested and restart preventative. Heartworms are passed to dogs through mosquitoes. Because the Dallas mosquito population has a high incidence of heartworm, we recommend year round heartworm preventative.
Fencing: As you start to spruce up the yard, you also want to make sure your pet is safe and secure in your yard. Walk your fence and check for loose boards, spaces and gaps at the bottom of the fence, and check latches and locks. You should do this after any big spring storm as well. Many dogs get scared and get loose during a big spring storm. Make sure they have a dog house or a place they can go to feel safe if an unexpected storm blows in and you are not home. If you have an escape artist, check our links page for fence tips.
Tags and Collar: Spring brings unpredictable weather that can blow fences open and weather that may cause families to evacuate quickly. (you should have an emergency emergency plans that include your pets) Make sure your dog’s collar is in good condition and that they have tags. If a dog gets out, people are more likely to stop and help a dog with a collar and tags – the collar and tags tell people that this is a socialized, owned dog. Rabies tags, while important, will not allow you to be contacted if the vet’s office is closed. Help people find you quickly by make sure a current phone number is on the tag. If you haven’t already, spring is also a great time to microchip your dog.
Easter: Easter is high holiday for animal emergencies. Easter always brings lots of chocolate and Xylitol – which are both toxic to dogs. Keep the kid’s Easter candy it in a safe place away from the pets. Teach your kids that chocolate and candy are bad for the dogs and help them understand that it will make the dogs sick.
Bunnies and chics for Easter presents: 95% of all bunnies and chic sold for Easter will die before their first birthday. Please, if you need to see cute bunnies and chicks, visit the internet (cuteoverload.com), the zoo, or a farm.
Mulch: A relatively new popular product to be aware of is cocoa mulch. It is often used as bedding mulch for flower beds. It is very attractive and makes for very dramatic contrast next to flowers, but it is highly toxic to dogs. Avoid cocoa mulch if you have dogs. Be aware of this when you are in public parks as well. Keep the pups out of unknown flower beds and everything should be fine. Once you eliminate cocoa mulch, are all mulches the same? Cedar mulch gets bonus points as fleas do not like cedar.
Dogs are more active in spring – so get out there and enjoy the beautiful spring days with your pets!
Need a reason to spay or neuter? The majority of loose dogs (owned or not) have not been spayed or neutered. Large packs are formed when male dogs start to pursue and vie for the attention of a lady dog in heat. Make your neighborhood safer by preventing both dog packs and more unwanted homeless animals born on the streets.
We can stop this cycle of unwanted, homeless animals together. Prevention is the key and spay and neuter is the way. Through this great program, the cost barrier to a spay and neuter culture has been removed. Please advocate with your neighbors for a spay and neuter culture – not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the law! Share, share, share this link and this great resource.
From the the ASPCA on why you should spay and neuter:
- Spaying and neutering dramatically reduces the number of stray animals on the streets. Strays can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents and scare people, so the reduction is a plus.
- There are many health benefits to spaying and neutering your dogs, cats and rabbits! Spaying a female cat or dog helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
- Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering.
- Many unneutered pets have aggression problems and often mark their territory with strong-scented urine, which can make the household unbearable. Early neutering can nix aggression.
- Dogs and cats can be spayed or neutered as early as 2 months of age.
- Spay/neuter surgeries will lead to a decrease in the euthanasia rate and increase the live release rate (the number of animals that leave the shelter alive) of animals. Research shows that each canine sterilization reduces shelter intake by .72 dogs, and each feline sterilization reduces shelter intake by .57 cats.
- Spay/neuter surgeries can only be performed by licensed veterinarians.
- High Quality High Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSN) programs are efficient surgical initiatives that meet or exceed current veterinary medical standards of care in providing accessible, targeted sterilization of large numbers of dogs and cats in order to reduce their overpopulation and subsequent euthanasia.
Spay and neuter programs are not just for dogs, there are plenty of cat spay and neuter programs available as well.
Now go enjoy spring before you blink and it’s summer!