Spring officially starts on the 20th March this year, signalling the end of winter and the oncoming summer. Most dogs love spring as they can spend longer outside, enjoying the warmer weather and longer days. In fact it’s thought that some dogs actually get ‘spring fever’ where they get so enthusiastic about the change in season that they can’t control their excitement. Dogs with spring fever are full of life and excess energy, so need extra attention and energetic activities to prevent them from becoming destructive. However, there are some spring activities and seasonal changes which can affect you and your dog, so here’s our short list to things to watch out for in spring:
- If you are planning a big session of spring cleaning, make certain that the cleaning products you plan to use are safe for your dog, there are a number of household chemicals that can harm your dog. Avoid direct contact with bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers and formaldehyde.
- Some seasonal allergies start in the spring, so if you notice your dog is sneezing, itching or scratching, it may be time to investigate whether he has an allergy to a specific plant or species (try avoiding certain dog walks to see if he improves and discuss it with your vet if the symptoms worsen). It may be worth checking if his flea and tick programme is up to date as late spring is when these insects will start to multiply.
- Watch out for more traffic on the road as the daylight lengthens. A recent American study found that the number of fatal accidents increases in the first six days after the clocks change in spring, so keep your dog under control when on roads and safely on pavements wherever possible in spring.
- Spring flowers are one of the colourful signs from nature that winter is gone, but unfortunately there are a number of poisonous spring flowers that your dog might decide to dig up and eat. Try to keep him away from lilies, daffodils, spring bulbs and azaleas as these could all harm your dog.
- Be ready for the mud. One downside to spring is the rain and then the mud that sticks to your dog, so rinsing muddy paws and keeping dog towels ready to take the worst off before he comes in can help to reduce the cleaning.