Spring Pet Tips From Yolo Veterinary Clinic
Neuter Your Pet – Unless you are a professional animal breeder, have your pets spayed or neutered. These procedures will help your pets live longer, healthier lives. They will also eliminate unwanted and unplanned litters of kittens and puppies. Millions of unadopted spring puppies and kittens have to be destroyed by overburdened animal shelters every year.
Vaccinate! – Warmer weather brings out more housebound pets and more wildlife, which can carry rabies, distemper and other contagious diseases. Make sure your dogs and cats are protected. Visit your veterinarian and get your pet vaccinated. There are vaccines that will help reduce the risk of distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, kennel cough and rabies.
Start Obedience Training – Springtime is a great time to begin obedience training for your puppy or young dog, or to brush up training for your older more mature dog. An unruly, out-of-control dog is a danger to himself and others. Good citizenship requires that dog owners have their pets under control whenever among other dogs and people. An obedient dog is a happy and healthy pet.
Screen Your Windows! – It’s great to feel the fresh air and gentle breezes entering your home through opened windows, but make sure your windows are screened. Thousands of pets are killed or seriously injured each year in falls from opened windows in single-family suburban homes and large urban apartment buildings.
Leashes: Don't Go Out Without One – If you are going outdoors with your pet, make sure it is on a leash. Your pet must be under control at all times when it is out among other people and pets. The firm grip you maintain on the leash is the best safeguard you have to ensure that your pet doesn't spar with other animals or get loose and run away. Your pet should also always wear a collar with an identification tag.
Need a Jogging Partner? – Running with your dog can be great exercise for both of you. Keep your dog's age and overall health in mind when you choose a distance and course. Be careful not to stress your pet to the point where it is injured. Keep away from hot tar or paved surfaces that can cause burns to your pet’s foot pad.
Stop Fleas & Ticks – The same Lyme disease (carried by ticks) that ravages healthy people can do enormous damage to pets. Check with your veterinarian for new, easy-to-use flea and tick products. Only use the flea and tick products recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter products can be toxic and pose dangers to your pets.
Carsick Pets – Carsick pets can make a long car ride an excruciating journey. Make things easy on everyone. Don't feed your pet for eight to 12 hours before an extended car trip. You can give water up to two hours before. Plan several stops along the way to let your pet and other passengers relieve themselves. Bring some water from home and give just enough to your pet to quench its thirst.
Use Pet ID Tags – Avoid the heartache that comes when a pet is lost. Make sure your pet has an identification tag on its collar. The tag should have your daytime and home phone numbers or email address. Use the implanted ID chip system too. It can help identify your pet if it is turned in to an animal shelter. Tens of thousands of pets are lost each year. Unfortunately, too many are euthanized because they lack ID and are not adopted.
Pet First Aid Kit – Most serious injuries to pets occur in the spring and summer months when we spend more time outdoors with them. Be prepared if an emergency strikes. Having a well-stocked first aid kit handy can be the difference between life and death.
Plan Vacation Trips – If you plan to travel this summer and bring your pet along, make sure you plan ahead. Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than finding out as you check in that your hotel doesn't allow pets. When booking accommodations, make sure your hotel or vacation resort permits pets. Check (and make arrangements well in advance) with your airline, train or bus line. AAA and other travel services have lists of hotels and transportation systems that are pet friendly.
A Bumpy Ride – One of the most dangerous places for pets is the back of a pickup truck. Pets can be thrown from the truck if the driver has to make a sudden stop or turn, or they can be hit by shifting cargo or flying debris. Dogs and other pets should ride in the cab, either in a pet carrier or secured by a pet safety belt.
Still Waters Aren't Safe – Children aren't the only ones who drown when left unsupervised in backyard pools. Pets are also vulnerable. Never leave your cat or dog alone at or near a pool.