Finally, Spring has crept up on us again! Thankfully that means that balmy afternoons are just around the corner for us Sydney- siders, and as that glorious warm weather approaches, keep these tips in mind to help your canine buddy to stay happy and safe.
Springtime is a time for high alert around native animals and birds in particular. Brooding parents with springtime babies will fight tooth and nail (and wing) to protect their nesting offspring, so be wary of your dog approaching them. Magpies for example are particularly territorial birds and will swoop and peck at the faces of potentially threatening animals. On the flip side, limit pet access to these areas (bushes, trees or burrows) and help our little Aussies grow into big ones!
Spring means war weather and exuberant growth in plants and grasses around the home and in your neighbourhood. Flowering plants will also produce buds and pollen during spring so airborne particles that can cause atrophy (inhaled allergies) will be at an all time high. Be aware of your dog’s limits to these allergens and avoid letting them come into contact with problem plants, long grass and seeds that may get stuck in the fur and potentially become embedded in the skin.
Springtime will also mean growth for the more unpleasant nasties, the mosquito. As well as causing a painful or itchy sting to your dog’s skin, the adult mosquito is the main transmitter of heartworm larva to your dog (through its bite) so be extra vigilant with giving heart worm preventatives on time and remove any standing pools of water from around the house (like rainwater caught in pot plants and saucers, or clogged gutters) which make ideal breeding grounds for these insects
These leggy parasites will also be meeting with ideal growth conditions thanks to the warmer weather. Increasing temperatures create ideal incubation temperatures for flea larva and encourage them to emerge from the environment.
More adventurous outdoor activities in the pleasant Spring weather may also put you pooch in the path of bush and parasite ticks that live in bush land, long grass and particularly coastal areas around Sydney. Take care to use a specific tick preventative if you will be in these areas with your dog. A thorough check over is also recommended- check your dogs coat and in crevices like the inside of the ears, between toes and even inside the mouth (they may attach to gums) and take your dog to the Vet immediately if you find these parasites. The toxins they released by the tick bite take effect very quickly and can lead to serious illness and even death if not treated promptly.
A time to spruce up the home and clean out the cupboards means extra chemicals like cleaning products will be present in the home. Be sure to store these in lockable cupboards or above a height that your dog can access to protect them from accidental poisoning.
Enjoy the warmer weather, and as always give your pup a kiss from me X
Lolly (Happy Paws co-manager, dogblogger and resident vet nurse)