Spring is here! Before you pull on a pair of plastic gloves and embark on a massive spring clean of your home this weekend, why not use this opportunity to also prep your pets and their rest and play areas for the warmer months ahead? Kicking off today is the first instalment of tips on providing responsible care for your pets that should also be implemented throughout the year.
- Bushfire Plan: For those of you living near bush, grassland or coastal areas, now is the time to develop a safety and survival plan for your pets whether they are at home with you, or brought along on holidays. For more information check out The Lost Dogs’ Home Bushfires and Your Pets compiled in conjunction with the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
- Squeaky Clean: Inspect, sort and wash your pet’s favourite toys and gear. Your pet may resist parting with them so make the tough decision to keep or discard toys that have run their course. Hair and dust can accumulate in your pet’s kennel or bed, so make sure you air it out and clean where necessary vacuuming decreases opportunity for fleas. Also check that your pet’s leash and collar still fit and consider whether they need replacing.
- Grooming for health not just looks: Regular grooming is important for the health and wellbeing of your pet. Matted hair can not only be painful for your pet, but can in extreme cases pose a real health issue. A good bath, haircut and nail clip can also get your pet out of its winter slumber and add an extra bounce to their step. Consider a closer clip if you have a long-haired pooch. You may choose to do this yourself or leave your furry friend in the hands of grooming professionals.
- No Fly Zone: Launch a united front against flies that can pose a risk to the health of your pets. Dogs with perky ears regularly experience fly bite dermatitis on the tips ears. Floppy eared dogs are also not spared, with the back of their ears proving to be a common feeding ground for flies. Flies are also attracted to discharge from the eyes and nose and mouth of dogs, causing similar problems- so clean around these areas regularly. You can create a “no fly zone” through a range of repellents in the form of sprays and ointments that can be purchased over-the-counter from your nearest veterinary clinic.
- Evict Mosquitos: Send an eviction notice to mosquitos in your home and garden. Heartworm Disease is a serious and potentially life threatening infection that is spread via infected mosquitos. Make sure your pet is 100 per cent protected against the disease. Make sure you are on top of your pet’s heartworm treatment and kick out mosquitos from your home and garden with pet safe repellents. Also make sure your pet does not have access to unclean, still water that can be a breeding ground for mosquitos- i.e., clean out and replenish their water bowls regularly.
- Jump on fleas before they jump on you: Unless you use all-year-round flea, tick or parasite protection for your pets, it is strongly advised to get on top of fleas in early spring as fleas breed more actively in warmer months. There are a range of products you can use for your pets including spot-on treatments, orally taken medication and the list goes on! Remember to follow instructions very carefully even with non-toxic treatments. Also, a good vacuum of your home can assist with removing flea larvae.
Make sure you watch this space next week, for our second instalment of Spring tips!