Spring into Action with these handy tips from your Christchurch Vet

Posted by Claire Cable on 6 November 2017

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Spring is finally here, and with this sunny weather comes:

More outings to the parks and beaches; your dog with love these extra walks and its a great opportunity to burn off some winter chub!....but remember the following:

Spring

Keep up to date with your dogs vaccinations – you don’t want them picking up an avoidable illness. 

Don’t forget to pick up after your dog – no one likes to step in dog poop! 

Always take a lead with you and make sure you have effective control of your dog at all times. 

Supervise any swimming; dogs can drown and they can’t call for help! 

Make sure the place you are going is dog friendly. There are some parks and beaches that do not allow off-lead dogs.  

If you are going to a lake or river watch out for signs of Cyanobacteria. This is highly toxic to both pets and people and can cause illness and even death. If a river or lake is cloudy, discoloured, musty smelling, has small globules suspended in it, has coloured scum forming, or has thick dark brown or black mats on the river bed with a slimy/velvety texture, then avoid the area totally.

Barbeques and Picnics; we all love a good gathering in the sunshine, but make sure to remember your pet too:

  • Keep food out of reach, dogs love to sneak a steak! Avoid giving them anything that contains onion or garlic – both of these are harmful to your pet. 
  • Don’t feed your dog bones – they can be dangerous, especially cooked ones; chop bones are one of the worst. 
  • Kebab sticks and corn cobs can also cause some very serious problems like intesintal perforation and obstructions, so don't let you pet clear up the left overs! 
  • Bring dog-friendly snacks or chews. 
  • Make sure shade & water is available at all times 
  • Take a frisbee or ball for some extra doggie fun!

There are downsides to everything, spring included.  Keep an eye out for these nasties:

  • Fleas and worms!! No one likes them! Keep up to date with preventative de-fleaing & de-worming; itchy scratchy pets can spoil everyone’s fun!!
  • Lost pets definitely kill spring joy! Make sure all dogs have on their collars and tags in case they roam (a great idea for cats too). Also, make sure your pet is microchipped and your details are up to date so they can be quickly returned when they are found.  
  • Sunburn! Pets burn the same as people, keep any white/pink areas covered with sun-block. The nose and ears are the most common places for your pet to burn.  
  • Allergies!! Spring is a common time for environmental allergies to flare up (just like in people!). If your pet is scratching more than usual, chewing his/her feet, has itchy or smelly ears, or has pink/red patches especially on the feet, ear flaps, armpit or groin areas it’s time to bring them in for a check.
  • Grass seeds! After you have been for a walk through a grassy area be sure to check your pet for grass seeds. Seeds can get stuck in fur and feet and then work their way into your pet’s body through their skin.   They are a cause of pain, infection and inflamation as the body tries to deal with this foreign object and can migrate to other parts of the body causing serious disease.