Spring is arriving in New Mexico. You may be planning your garden, raking up the last of the fall leaves, or doing your annual spring cleaning. Whatever you are doing, now is the time for getting ready for Spring and that includes getting your dog ready too. Here is a great checklist of all the things you should do to get your dogs ready for Spring in New Mexico.
Flea and Tick Medication
Fleas never really go away in New Mexico because we are a warmer climate, so they never really go into full hibernation. But they do become a lot less active in the Winter. As all the plants start waking up with the coming of Spring, so do the fleas. If you are not already giving your dog their monthly Frontline Flea & Tick treatment then it is a good time to start. Frontline will get rid of an infestation but prevention is way better than treating a problem.
This is the perfect time to make sure your dog has all of their annual vaccines at our Albuquerque Shot Clinic. Some vaccines are not annual, so make sure to check with your Albuquerque veterinarian about which vaccines your dog needs this year. A good vaccination to consider throwing into the mix is the Rattlesnake vaccine, especially if you like hiking or live near the mesa. New Mexico has a lot of Rattlesnakes and getting the vaccine can save your dogs life.
Microchip and Tags
If your dog has not already had a microchip then this is a great time to get it done. It is a simple in office procedure that you can do during our walk-in shot clinics. The chip is implanted beneath the skin and it has your dogs record number. This number stores your contact information so if your dog ever gets separated from you they can be easily returned home with a simple scan with a microchip reader. While you are at it, take a quick look at their tags and make sure the information stamped on there is accurate.
New Leash and Collar
As they say, prevention is the best medicine. A part of prevention is proper preventative care of your dog and her equipment. Collars and leashes wear out. If you have an worn our collar or leash it makes it easier for your equipment to fail and for your dog to accidentally break away from you. Prevent any unintentional escapes and get a new collar and leash.
Nobody likes to take their dog out to a dog park or on a hike if their dog is always pulling on the leash, trying to run after other dogs or animals, being aggressive with other animals or people, barking, or generally misbehaving. If you have never put your dog into an obedience class, now is a great time to enroll. It will make both you and your dog happy, as dogs feel more secure when they know who is their alpha and in charge, and it will make you happy to have your dog listen to you. This is a great time to start preparing for that play time in the park with a brush up on some dog training.
Check Your Fences
A lot of dogs have mostly stayed inside over the winter. Now that the weather is nice they want to be outside in the sun. As you are preparing your gardens, take some time to walk your property and make sure all the fences are in tact and free from holes or lose boards. You want to make sure your boards aren’t splintering, or have nails sticking out of them, make sure they are firmly attached to the fence, and make sure there aren’t any escape holes that could let your dog into your neighbors yard.
Check Your Fertilizer
As we prepare our gardens and yards we are often using fertilizer and other chemical additives. These may be good for your greenery but can be highly toxic to your dog. They can cause respiratory and digestive problems and some of them even cause cancer. Take some time to research what you are putting in your yard to ensure that it is safe for your pet.
What Are You Planting?
Did you know that some garden plants are toxic to dogs? Even common flowers such as daisies are toxic. Take a look at your garden and your new plants to make sure you know if they are pet safe. If you want to plant something like onions, that are not pet safe, make sure you build your garden bed in a way that will keep your pooch out of it and away from the vet!
Throw Some Shade
The weather isn’t hot yet but you know it is coming. A lot of backyards in Albuquerque do not provide good shade for our dogs. But if your dog is outside a lot, it can be pretty easy for him to get sun stroke. Be nice to your pooch and provide him with a bit of share, like an umbrella or a canopy. A dog house is not great for shade because the interior can sometimes be hotter than the exterior, so give them a place to go that is open to the air but safe from the sun.
Replace Your Toys
Dogs will chew their toys into oblivion. Sometimes it only takes days or a few months, while some toys will last a full season or a year. I know you might think your dog has a favorite toy and would be devastated if you replaced it, but he will get over it. If your toys are all chewed up, fraying, falling apart, all those bits and pieces can be dangerous to them if they swallow them. Treat your pup to some new play toys. We promise he will thank you for it.