Everyone has a favorite season. My question to you, does your dog have anything to do with why you have a favorite and possibly a least favorite season? My goofy Labrador (and previous ones) has definitely helped tip the scales for what is my least favorite season….Spring. Join me in this 4 part series as we discuss the seasons and how they affect us as dog owners. Up first, spring of course!
Simple fact accepted by Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana is that we can, and usually do, experience 3 to 4 seasons in a given day when the seasons begin to change. It’s impossible to put away winter coats in favor of light jackets, so we must hang them all on the coat racks for a few months until the seasons figure themselves out. This year, March gave us a few nice, very warm days (60°F if we could believe it, and then we were back to snow as Mother Nature’s very funny April Fools joke.
Spring brings longer days and warmer weather and flowers and all the nice things. Almost everyone is in a better mood and excited to be able to move about more freely without the snow and the cold temperatures.
The snow melts and leaves behind all the “surprises” it has been hiding for the winter. I do my best to clean up the yard after my dog goes out to potty. However, when it is dark or minus-whatever degrees with the windchill or 18 inches of fresh snow on the ground, I can say that it is not high on my list to get out into the yard and clean up. Inevitably, it will accumulate a bit and will require a little more work in the spring.
With the melting snow comes rain showers and the mud. Muddy paws and wet dog are not the most pleasant thing to have coming back in the house every time there is a potty break. My yellow lab is so happy that he loves to roll and kick every time he goes outside. Every time. Each season. In the spring, you can imagine what he looks like, streaked with mud and wet with rain and very pleased with himself. One can only laugh! Or do you have a dog that will melt outside in the rain? Takes one look outside and resigns to stay indoors the remainder of the day. Potty breaks are not necessary if it is raining.
Springtime always seems to be a reminder to us about our pet’s preventative medicine. The switch to warmer weather not only brings us out of our houses, but wildlife and internal and external parasites seem to get pretty excited as well. It’s important to make sure your pet is on heartworm preventative year-round. Their life depends on it as deadly heartworm disease can be spread year-round. Did you know that the species of mosquito that transmits heartworm disease can survive our winters, and even can be found during the middle of winter when temperatures rise to favorable conditions? We have had 50°F weather in the middle of winter.
Warmer weather also brings about the fleas and ticks that have been sheltering from the winter. Fleas can overwinter with their wildlife hosts and will happily join your family, given a chance encounter. We also have 4 species of ticks in our area that look for a quick meal: Lone star tick, deer tick, brown dog tick and American dog tick, and all have the potential to carry different diseases. During the spring, the deer tick is the most active of the group. The deer tick is active year-round and any time the temperature is 32°F or higher, it is looking for its next meal. If you live in an area where deer or mice are prevalent, ticks are not too far away. Your dog should be protected by giving a monthly preventative against fleas and ticks, and if lifestyle warrants it, the Lyme vaccine.
If your pet is not on year-round heartworm preventative, or if you’re not sure when to give your pet flea and tick prevention, please speak with a member of our team and we will happily make sure your pet is on the right prevention for your lifestyle and answer any questions you may have.