Spring in Newfoundland can be an erratic and protracted process. Technically the official first day of spring is March 20, but Newfoundland has a mind of its own, and the average temperature for April 1st is 0° C (I wish this was an April fools joke). Typically you can start to see signs of spring on the island in May when the tulips begin to peak through the snow. Despite the weather here are some helpful tips to keep your pet safe and happy in the springtime!
- Make sure your windows have screens in them. Windows without screens can pose a significant threat to your pets when they’re left open without supervision. It can result in falls causing broken bones and other injuries.
- When left in small confined spaces, like cars, it can be difficult for your pet to regulate their body temperature. Pets only sweat from their paws. Your pup will pant to help control body temperature. If you have to run errands, please leave your fur family home and comfortable in their home.
- Keep your spring flowers away from your pets. Spring is a good time of year to start your gardening or bring some spring into your home but be mindful that although some plants are pretty, they can be poisonous if munched on by your pet. For a list of non-pet friendly plants click here.
- Use pet safe fertilizers and pesticides too. Be careful not to leave any chemicals laying around unattended and store them away properly. Always pet-proof your home and garden sheds.
- Protect those paws! We all love little toe beans, and we don’t want to see them hurting. Pavement gets extremely hot in the spring and summer so be mindful. If you can’t stand comfortably barefoot on the road, then your pet probably can’t either. There are some products you can get to help protect your canine’s feet. This website has lots of products so your pet can continue walking in style – hot or cold!
- Don’t forget your parasite control. Spring is a beautiful time of year. However, it is also parasite season for your fur family. Fleas, ticks and worms can be annoying to us but even more annoying to your pets. Although it is recommended to keep your pet on parasite control year round some people stop their pets parasite protection in the winter and pick it up again in early spring. Some parasites that are prevalent in NL and Labrador are fleas, ticks, French heartworm, heartworm, whipworm, roundworm, lungworm, tapeworm and many more. Ask your veterinarian for a parasite control that is right for you and your pet.
- Use pet-friendly cleaners. Spring is a good time of year to start fresh, we usually clean our homes and can use many cleaners to get your house in tip-top shape. However, some cleaners can be toxic to animals. Use either a natural cleaning product or make sure you follow the safe handling instructions, so you don’t unintentionally harm your pet.
- Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Spring can be an excellent time to get outdoors and exercise for ourselves and our canine friends. If you are planning to bring your pets to the dog park, doggy day care or play dates with your friend’s fur family, be sure you have all vaccines up to date so your pet can safely play!
- Stay hydrated. Make sure your pet has access to fresh drinking water at all times. There are handy water bottles that you can take with you on the go. There are some idea’s here.
- Be aware of heatstroke. Since animals can’t sweat, their body temperatures rise much more easily than humans. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Signs of heatstroke include panting, high fever, lethargy, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and collapsing. If your pet shows any of these symptoms bring them to an emergency vet ASAP.
- Collars, ID tags; and Microchipping. I can’t stress this enough! With all the camping, exercising, walks, hiking and other outdoor activities, it’s important to have a collar on your pet with an ID tag that has up-to-date information. It’s always a good idea to have your pets microchipped. If your pet is already microchipped ensure that all information is updated such as address, phone number, province etc.
- Bring your pet inside. If it’s too hot outside for you, chances are it’s too hot for your pet. Keep your pet in the coolest, shadiest, most comfortable spot you can find. Don’t keep your pet outside too long, however, if your pups love to be outside in the garden, have a water hose available and maybe a little shallow pool for your pup to splash around in to keep cool!
Written by: Brittany Bowering