After a long New England winter, virtually everyone in Massachusetts is looking forward to warmer weather. Unfortunately, this was preceded by a long, wet month of April. Still, as the old adage goes, April showers bring May flowers, making this new month the best time to go frolicking in the sun with your dog.
If this is not your first spring with a pup at your side, you already know that you are in for a few challenges, ranging from a lingering wet dog smell in your home to dog allergies. So, here are just a few precautions you can take to have an incident-free spring this year.
Outsmart the Rain
Let’s face it. The rain is nowhere near done with us. Rather than give in to wishful thinking, you will have to find ways to outsmart the downpours. One way to do this is to check the weather before leaving the house, not just in your area, but wherever you plan to go. This helps to ensure a mud-free hiking trip with your dog.
If the rain is inevitable and your dog isn’t concerned about getting wet, then bring a raincoat for yourself, and then a blanket and several towels for the dog. If you are serious about keeping your dog dry, you may also consider doggie raincoats, but take care with these on warmer days as your dog may overheat. Finally, you may also be wise to invest in seat covers for your car and couch.
Prevent Dog Allergies
Some dogs — and cats — are allergic to flea bites. As the weather warms up and you spend more time outdoors, the chances of your pets being bitten increases. Protect your pets by stocking up on flea medication. Even animals that are not allergic to fleas may have serious discomfort from the itchy bites, so be sure to administer a dose.
If your cats are indoor only, you may believe they do not need flea medication. However, an open window or a visiting pup is all it takes to let a few in, so be sure to give even your indoor only cats flea medication, too.
Remember Heartworm Prevention
While you are purchasing flea medication, remember to get heartworm medication as well. If you read our post on heartworms in cats, then you already know that prevention is the only cure. In contrast, dogs have many options open to them for treatment, but the risks and costs are so high that preventative measures are still a much better investment.
To refresh your memory, heartworm is caused by mosquito bites. As you already know, along with May flowers, April showers will also provide the perfect breeding ground for some flying insects and pests.
Get Rid of the Wet Dog Smell
The wet dog smell in your home can be an obvious source of embarrassment, but it is preventable. First, you will need to know what is at the cause of it, as sometimes your dog may smell even on a dry day. According to PetMD, here are a few factors that may cause this:
- Breeds with folds in the skin provide a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria
- Microorganisms naturally living in your dog’s fur that react negatively with water
- Yeast infections in the ears
- A bad case of gas
- Doggy breath
The simple solution to some of these problems is proper hygiene. Frequent baths, using baby wipes to clean between folds and giving dental chews as treats can help to keep your home smelling fresh, better than even a few sprays of Febreze. If better hygiene does not improve the smell at home, however, it may be worth visiting a vet just in case there are illnesses, such as kidney failure, causing the odors.
This May, don’t allow the heavy rains to come between you and your dog’s sense of adventure. Even so, be sure to protect cats and dogs in your home by practicing proper hygiene and using preventative medication.
If work is keeping you too busy over the next few weeks to enjoy hiking, jogging or walking your dog, then rely on pet sitters in Saugus and surrounding areas to provide the exercise they need. Contact us today to book your dog’s next hiking trip this spring!