Popo Says - Although ticks are active most of the year, spring is a time when they become more active as the weather warms up. Ticks can be found in tall grasses, forest floor leaves and brush. It may surprise you, but ticks can be found in your backyard as well as forests and wooded areas. Your pet may encounter these tiny parasites as you spend more time outdoors.
Fleas are similar to ticks in that they become more active during warmer temperatures and are capable of living in nearly all types of environments. In fact, most pets are susceptible to fleas, even indoor pets. That's why many veterinarians recommend flea preventatives for all pets in a household, regardless of if they go outside.
Spring is a time when both people and pets are at risk for mosquito bites. Heartworm disease is especially dangerous for pets due to parasitic worms that are spread through mosquito bites. It's important that pets are protected with heartworm preventatives year-round. Whether they take an oral supplement, use topical solution, or receive an injectable from their veterinarian, it is also vital that they are screened for heartworm disease during their semi-annual veterinarian appointments.
Although spring is a wonderful season for temperature changes and more time outdoors, it is also a time when your pets are more susceptible to diseases from outdoor creatures. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if a flea and tick product or heartworm product are the best preventative measures for your pet. Credit: Merck Animal Health
Popo says - Want to show your pet you love them? Let us count the ways! To foster your dog or cat’s instinctual food drive, keep pet-friendly treats on hand, and use them between meals to engage and interact with them (rather than just doling out treats for being cute, which they always are).
Notice how your cat manages to find all the hidden food in your house? For feline parents, get creative. Find small treats and place them in a puzzle, which must be solved for the cat to receive the reward.
Love your pet by trying to be mindful of changes in their behavior - If you feel like your dog isn’t listening to you, or trying to do the opposite you’re asking, stop and reflect on what’s happening. In scenarios where your dog is “being difficult,” they are likely just too stressed by what’s going on around them, especially if they aren’t interested in tasty rewards.Love your pets by PAYING ATTENTION! Face-to-face interactions with people are much more fulfilling when phones are out of sight, and the same holds true for our pets. Credit: Paw Culture
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Animal Welfare Act recommends that ambient temperature should not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, especially when sick, aged or young animals are present. If it does, plan to supplement the animal’s environment with auxiliary heating and additional bedding. Additionally, animals should always be provided with adequate protection and shelter from the direct effect of wind, rain or snow. Remember that animals in Texas are not acclimated to cold weather so they must be protected from extreme weather conditions accordingly. Allowing pets indoors is a great way to protect them from harsh weather.
If you know or suspect that an animal has ingested any of the above items, immediately consult a veterinarian, animal emergency clinic or poison control center. The Texas Poison Center Network can be reached at 800/222-1222. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 800/548-2423.
Thanks is given to Dr. John C. Haliburton, former Head of Diagnostic Toxicology for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Amarillo, for his assistance and expertise in preparing this article.
1Rosendale, ME. Veterinary Medicine. 1999; August:703..
Pam wilson, LVT, MEd, MCHES, works at the Texas Department of State Health Services in the Zoonosis Control Branch.