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Spring has officially arrived! You do things to prepare your family, home and car for spring, but what about preparing your pet for spring too? PetFirst has the following helpful tips for getting your fur-friend ready to spring into the warmer weather right along with you.
Start with a visit to your vet. If you haven’t taken your pet to the veterinarian in the last 12 months, it’s time to schedule a visit. Pets who are seen by a licensed veterinarian annually live longer, healthier lives. Your veterinarian will exam your dog or cat in multiple ways: 1) Feeling for lumps or bumps under their coats that have been hidden during the winter months; and 2) Observing your pet. Watching them walk, testing their reflexes and visual tracking are all part of a complete exam. Your veterinarian may also recommend a few tests depending your pet’s age or breed, as well as any vaccinations that are needed.
Spay or neuter your pet. Spring is a natural time for pets to come into heat. It may not be your intention to breed your pet, but sneaky dogs and cats can quickly change your plans. Avoid the possibility all together and plan ahead. Schedule your pet to be spayed or neutered now. You will help control the pet population, and the procedure reduces the risks of physical ailments such as mammary cancer and uterine infections in female pets.
Restock and continue giving routine medications. Flea and heartworm medications are important year round. But if you have gotten off schedule or haven’t given the medication over the winter months, now is the time to get back on track. This is important for your pet’s overall health and to prevent the spread of fleas in your home.
Shedding their winter coat. Spring is a natural time of year for your pet to shed, sometimes in excess! Schedule a trip to the pet groomer or plan to bathe your pet at home regularly over the next month or two to help prevent the shedding from becoming overwhelming. Another great tip is to brush your pet before a bath and then again afterwards. This will help control the amount of hair shed in the tub.
Exercise for both you and your pet. Odds are if you gained a few pounds over the winter months, your pet did too. Now that the weather is warmer, take the opportunity to get outdoors and exercise with your pet. Walking is a greatform of exercise for you both. For indoor pets, get a new toy to peak their interest or find something they haven’t played with in a while.
Spring cleaners beware. As you go about deep cleaning the house, be sure to keep all cleaning supplies and chemicals out of your pet’s reach. Many household chemicals can be dangerous to your pet and cause problems ranging from skin irritation to gastritis and potentially death. Experts advise keeping pets in their safe area (crates, play areas or fenced-in yards) while you clean inside. Once everything is put away and the area is chemical-free, then welcome your pet back into the area.
Choose a pet insurance policy. A very important step in protecting your pet in the spring and year-round is having a pet insurance policy you can depend on for excellent coverage and great reimbursement. PetFirst offers both with the Lifetime Accident and Illness plans. With reimbursement levels ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 or even $20,000, the Lifetime Accident and Illness plans have no per-incident limit and cover both chronic and hereditary conditions for pets of all ages (starting as early as eight-weeks old).
By keeping these tips in mind and following a few simple suggestions, you and your pet will have a happy, healthy and safe spring.