Your dog is getting ready to shed his winter coat. Get ahead of the furry mess by grooming him regularly. If you're strapped for time or just aren't good at wrangling him into a bath, consider getting him groomed. You can drop him off, run a couple errands and pick him up, all clean and looking handsome.
Keeping Those New Year's Resolutions
People aren't the only ones who pack on the pounds in winter. Your dog has just spent the last few months sitting by your side, chowing down on food without having any way of running off the calories. Start slowly with short walks, gradually building up to longer walks and even running. As a bonus, you'll also start getting in shape again.
A New Trick For Every Dog
If you haven't already, keep your pet safe when running around outside by teaching them this new trick. Pick a word you'll rarely use, but will remember, and teach your pet that whenever you say that word they get an extra special treat from different storage cabinets than the one you already keep treats in. Once he's learned the word, you should only use it if your dog gets loose and is about to run into traffic or starts off down the road. That way, he'll stop and return to you. It'll be better than a simple "come" command, because it's less likely to be ignored since he'll remember that word means he gets an extra special treat.
Sensible And Safe Fashion
Check on your dog's collar, leash and other accessories to make sure they're still in good condition. If they're breaking or fraying, replace them before you start your walking routine. You don't want your pooch to break the leash and go off running. While you're replacing the collar and leash, get some new tags as well. In the age of cellphones and moving around, it's a good idea to update tags with your dog's name, your name, your new phone number and address. That way, should your dog get loose, someone is likely to know where to return him without going to a vet to see if he's microchipped.
Prevent A Spring Itch
With the rising temperatures comes animals' least favorite season: flea and tick season. Make sure your dog is medicated against these pests. It's also a good idea to get him checked out for heartworm and get his shots updated. By taking these steps, you're making sure that he's safe playing outside. Make sure other indoor pets get check ups and take flea and tick medication, too. Just because your dog is protected doesn't mean he can't carry any pests indoors to your other pets.
Puppy-Proofing Your Yard
Before you let Fido outside to play, make sure the yard is safe for him. If you have a fence, check to see that it was not damaged during winter and the boards are attached firmly. Make sure there are not any poisonous plants he could eat. There is a long list of plants that are dangerous to dogs, some of which include common flowers, like amaryllis; some fruit trees, like oranges; ivies; and more.
Taking a few minutes preparing for spring will be much easier than finding a lost dog or giving him a flea bath, and you'll enjoy his company for years to come.