A Paws for Pets — Spring time check list for your pets | Opinion

By Susan Rodabaugh, York Adopt A Pet

Most of us put spring cleaning as a necessity in our yearly routines. It’s time to expand our checklist to include that our pets are also healthy. The list below will kick start your pets into a healthy spring and summer and allow for a healthier home.

at. Spring time activity: If you have been inside for the last few months, it’s time to get active again. However, it’s a good idea to for us and our pets to ease slowly into activity to prevent injuries and sore muscles. Start with shorter play sessions with our cats and leash walks with our dogs. Gradually work up to maximum activity. Oversee all activity to ensure your pets don’t get attacked by another animal, ingest a toxin, or carried off by predators including ones with wings.

b. Grooming: Warmer temperature only means shedding is about to take place and a nail trim is needed. Your pets will need help to shed their winter coat. Brush your dog or cat with the appropriate brush for their type of fur. If you choose to do this yourself, pick a safe space so they can’t get away and will be easy for you to clean up. Trim their nails to prevent splitting and breaking. Also, don’t forget about expressing their anal glands. Avoid shaving a long hair pet to keep them cooler during the summer, it does just the opposite.

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vs. Update Vaccinations: When the weather gets warmer it’s time to update all vaccinations. The list should include rabies, heartworm preventative, and flea/tick preventatives.

1. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva, brain or nervous tissue that may have come into close contact with an open wound, mouth, nose or eyes. Your vet will need to administer the rabies vaccine to your pet. You will need this vaccine to properly license your pet with your city.

2. Heartworm preventatives should also be given. Heartworm disease is caused by an infected mosquito that has usually gotten it from another dog or cat. It then transfers the heartworm larvae which then matures in blood vessels around the heart and lungs. They can grow up to a foot in length. The treatment is very costly and time consuming if your pet has tested positive for heartworm. A monthly tablet or yearly shot can be given by your veterinarian will keep your pet heartworm free.

3. Fleas are the most common signs of skin disease and tape worms in our pets. These parasites will invade and take over your home before you realize you may have a problem. These tiny wingless parasites are picked up from the surrounding environment that we freely let our pets roam. They can get them from squirrels, rodents and other infested pets in your area without coming into contact with these outdoor creatures. Females lay eggs at an alarming rate and they can live for months. Ticks also carry diseases and your pets may bring them inside your home. They can spread Lime Disease and cause other skin problems to you and your pet if bitten by a tick. Tick ​​diseases can be treated by a vaccine if it’s caught early enough. To protect your pet and home, ask your veterinarian what flea and tick medications works best in the area you live.

4. Avoid and limit exposing your pets to toxins. If you plan on spraying your yard or home for fleas and ticks be careful because some toxins are very dangerous to our furry friends. Also, spring is a good time to fertilizer your lawns, it too can be toxic. Be sure to use pet safe products and keep your pets off the grass for the recommended time. Some Spring blooms that are toxic to our pets include Lily, Tulip, Gladiola, Daffodil, Begonia, Amaryllis, Milkweed, Chrysanthemum, Baby’s Breath, Oleander, and Azalea. If your pet has ingested a potential toxin call animal poison control at 888-426-4435 or call your veterinarian.

Knowing the hazards to your pets and keeping them safe and healthy make you a responsible pet owner. Accidents will always occur. But, we can always be more assertive to prevent our pets from getting sick, injured and parasites. The other choice is risking their health and ours.

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