IS YOUR PET A SPRING SUFFERER? pets corner Spring is here! And with the perfect spring weather, it is a great time for dogs who just love to go out and enjoy the open areas. Since it follows the cold and miserable Winter, it is the time when dogs suddenly ‘spring’ into activity. They transform from curled up couch potatoes basking in the heat of the winter sun, into active socialites ready to meet their old mates at the park and sniff out the old routes they used to walk along. While spring is welcomed with open arms by all of us Humans, are we really aware of the dangers that it brings to our Pets? Dogs, like us, get ‘Spring Fever’ too. You may notice a change in his or her behaviour- some become increasingly energetic, while some get unusually agitated. There are a few factors involved here, the sudden increase in new odours, more chirping birds, buzzing insects, active creepy crawlies and the extra sunny days all all too much for them. This can actually cause your dog to act a wee bit crazy! So, what do we do? Take them out to burn some energy? The first thing that you need to remember, especially if you have an older dog, is don’t overdo it! Old creaky joints take awhile to ‘warm up’, not to mention the extra love handles that most of us are carrying around. Start your exercise regime slowly. Short walks twice a day are often better than the once a week marathon!  If they get puffed out easily or have stiff joints, then you should talk to us for some advice. There are exercises that will help them increase their fitness levels. You can even explore the option of some really effective supplements, some of these are included in premium diets, or monthly injections to make them feel like puppies again! Remember to hydrate – both you and your best mate. While we haven’t hit the scorching summer yet, some of the days can be quite warm, so it is best to avoid the heat. Try to walk your dogs in the early mornings and early evenings, these are the prettiest times of day too!  Many dogs eating a good nutritious dry food will need extra water to prevent dehydration. There are some nifty water bottles with drinking bowls available for dogs on the run and most dog parks have a drinking station as well. Can you scratch my back? I think I have spring allergies. Contrary to popular belief, it is not normal for your dog to be itchy (just like ‘doggy breath’ is not normal either). And while fleas are often the leading culprit can certainly be a number of other causes of itchiness, such as plants, food, mites and many tiny particles that they could inhale. This will show you what to look out for and what you can do about it. Sometimes all you need is a better walking route to avoid some terribly itchy plants. The killers! Snakes and ticks are back on the move. While winter has kept them sleeping quietly, warm days have made them more active and triggered their appetites too. A single bite from a harmful snake or a big feed from a blood thirsty tick could cause paralysis or even death. Remember to use tick prevention like Bravecto, a chewy tablet every three months, and finger search your pet daily. By using a good preventative product, knowing the signs and acting fast, you could save thousands of dollars in treatment and your best mate’s life!