Preparing Your Dogs for Spring

Tips For Making Sure Your Fur Babies Are Ready for Spring!

Spring is here, now is the ideal time to make sure your four-legged friends are ready for the upcoming warm weather. There are several proactive and preventative steps that you can take to protect your dog from insects and other issues that will arise with the increase in temperatures.

Flea and Tick Medications

There are many different flea and tick medications and preventative treatments on the market today. While the once-a-month topical application is popular, there are also tablets and sprays that can offer different options in treatment.

Most dog owners have used the topical applications, but they can be sticky and messy, and it can be easy to forget.

Chewable tablets are becoming more popular and, in studies, have proven to be more effective in the full treatment of adult fleas. There are also some tablets on the market that offer up to three months or more of treatment. There are also some vaccines that can be used to provide up to six months of control. Unfortunately if you already have fleas, this product does not kill the adult fleas, so you will also need to use another product until the environment is free of fleas.

Flea shampoos and sprays can also be used. These typically have a much shorter duration of control, and some shampoos have limited, if any, residual control. Choosing the right combination of tablets, topicals, vaccines, or other options should be discussed with your vet.

It is also important to know that dogs can have allergic reactions to any of these flea control options. Before giving a flea or tick medication to your dog, be sure to understand the warning signs of a reaction and what to do if it occurs.

Heartworm

There are products on the market that combine flea, tick, and heartworm control in one tablet. There are also chewable, oral tablets and topical applications to consider. Typically, all are easy to administer and generally well-tolerated by most dogs.

Most of the heartworm medications are also effective against roundworms and hookworms, but this does vary by brand. They can also treat whipworms and ear mites, and sarcoptic mange.

If using separate products for heartworm and fleas, talk to your vet about the combinations you are considering. This will ensure the best possible coverage without any risk for the dog.

Grooming Time

For any dog owner with a double-coated breed, spring also brings about the annual ritual of continual shedding. Many dogs will “blow” or completely shed their dense, wooly undercoat, which can mean copious amounts of hair all over your home.

It is a good idea to start routine grooming early in the spring. This will help to remove the dead hair from the coat and hopefully help keep your home a bit more clean throughout those few weeks of heavy shedding.

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