Spring is officially here, and the warmer weather and lighter days are great for spending more time with your pet. Whether you’re tackling a spring clean, planting up your garden or moving to pastures new, there are a number of ways the season can affect your pet. We've put together some essential advice to help you keep your pet healthy as the weather warms up.
Time for a spring clean?
The annual tradition may seem outdated, but longer days and warmer weather mark a perfect time to tackle a spring clean that your pet will also thank you for.
Feeding bowls can be a breeding ground for bacteria, with research from Hartpury University claiming dogs’ water bowls are the third most contaminated household item after the dish sponge and toothbrush holder. Wash them after every meal to help prevent bacteria.
Deep cleaning your pet’s bed once a week will get rid of smells and stains, as well as bacteria. Make sure to use a pet-friendly detergent and skip the fabric softener.
Give your rabbit time to stretch their legs while you give their hutch a thorough clean out and fresh bedding. Be sure to use animal-friendly disinfectant and cleaning products.
It’s been through the winter weather, rain, and muddy puddles, so your pet’s collar should be on your spring cleaning list this season too. Add a small amount of pet shampoo in a bowl of warm water and let the collar soak for around 15 minutes. Rinse in cold water and leave to dry.
Your pet will start to shed its winter coat in earnest at this time of year, so a bit of extra grooming means you’ll be less likely to find their fur everywhere.
Stay one tick ahead of Lyme disease
Ticks become much more active during spring, which can spell bad news for you and your pet. These tiny parasites can carry bacterial infections such as Lyme disease, which can be picked up by both pets and their owners and cause severe illness.
As always, the best cure is prevention: keep an eye out for ticks after walks in grassy, wooded areas. Ask your local vet for a special tick remover tool, as removing them within 24 hours can prevent infection.
Digging up danger
Some spring flowers and their bulbs - including daffodils and tulips - can be incredibly harmful to dogs, so it’s important to keep an eye on what your pet might be digging up in the garden. You also need to be aware of any vases kept indoors, as eating their flowers or drinking their water can be dangerous.
Moving house with your pet
The onset of spring signals new beginnings, and for many, it’s the perfect time to move house. Moving home can be stressful for most of us, and none more so than our pets. It is one of the most stressful events for a family pet. Here are some ways you can help ease their anxiety.
Create a safe space
Designate a quiet room or corner for your pet to get away from the chaos of packing and moving. Fill it with food, water, and their favourite toys to help them feel comfortable, and don’t forget to check in from time to time so they know you haven’t abandoned them.
Stick to a routine
If your pet is used to being fed or let outside at certain times of the day, try and continue this in their new home. This will increase their sense of security and reduce their stress levels.
Pets are incredibly intuitive, and can often sense when you’re worked up. Take some time to relax and spend time with your pet and reassure them of the changes.