News and Media

Spring pet care tips

September 1, 2016

Today marks the first day of spring, and we’re ready to shake off the winter blues. As the weather warms up, we enjoy spending more time with our pets in the great outdoors.

There are things we need to be mindful of to keep our pets safe and healthy this spring. Here are our top spring pet care tips:

Be careful using chemicals and pesticides

Many of us like to welcome spring by cleaning out the house and tidying up the garden. Chemicals and pesticides can be very dangerous – even fatal – to our pets. When using them, be sure to follow the instructions very carefully and keep your pets well away from them.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, seek immediate vet attention.

Beware of snakes

Snakes become more active in the warmer months, which makes it more dangerous for your pets to be out in the great outdoors. Tiger and Brown snakes are the main venomous snakes in Melbourne.

Signs of a snake bite include sudden collapse, blood in urine, dilated pupils, frothing at the mouth, tremors and sudden death.  If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake, immediately take them to your vet or nearest emergency vet.

To reduce the risk of snake bite, keep the grass short in your yard. When out walking, keep your dog on lead and out of long grass.

Check for fleas

Cases of fleas are far more common in spring. The first sign that your pet might have fleas is excessive scratching, biting or licking at the skin. The best places to look for fleas on your pet are around their stomach, lower back and base of the tail. When checking your pet’s coat, look for:

  • Flea dirt: This looks like small black specks of grit, similar to finely ground pepper. This is actually digested dried blood.
  • Fleas: Approximately the size of a pin head, fleas can be seen moving or jumping through your pet’s coat.

Read more about fleas and flea treatment.

Look out for seasonal allergies

Like us, our pets can suffer from allergies during spring. Some animals may experience sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, but this is not usually severe and is easily managed. Seasonal allergies in pets are more likely to appear in the form of skin irritation on their feet and hairless area of their abdomen. If you notice excessive scratching, irritation or redness, contact your vet for further advice.

Gradually start your pet’s exercise regime

Our pet’s exercise regime may have slowed down over the winter months. It’s exciting to be able to spend more time outside with our dogs, going on walks or jogs. But, we need to take it slow and gradually introduce our pets to more exercise. Suddenly increasing the amount or intensity of your pet’s exercise puts them at risk of injury to the tendons or ligaments.

Have your pet desexed

Desexing has lots of health and behavioural benefits on your pet. Plus, it prevents them from adding to the already high number of homeless pets in our community. Spring is breeding season for cats, so if your cat hasn’t been desexed, now is the time.

Make sure your pet’s identification is up to date

Up-to-date identification gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet if they go missing. Pets often spend more time outdoors and on outings to the park or beach during the warmer weather, which may increase the risk of them escaping and getting lost. It’s important to cover all bases with your pet’s ID, including:

  • Microchip
  • Collar with an identification tag
  • Council identification tag

Visit National Pet Register for more information on how to keep on top of your pet’s identification.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or well-being, speak with your vet or make an appointment at our Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic. Remember that in the event of poisoning or a snake bite, time is critical. If you suspect either of these, immediately take your pet to your vet or nearest emergency vet.