The Spring Season with Your Dog
Long before “April showers bring May flowers”, I know spring is on the way. The season subtly announces itself through my faithful Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
It begins with the shedding of their winter coats. Tangled tumbleweeds of fine, white, brown, red, and black doggy hair hide under tables and chairs, roll over the wood floors, and cover the upholstery and bedding of my house.
The lethargic, lazy, sleepiness of winter transforms into the playful enthusiasm of spring.
My little boy dog, Riece, weaves back and forth, from the base of buildings to the curbs of streets, bags of garbage to street signs, with laser focus, making sure that he does not miss a scent.
My little girl dog, C.C., is more aggressive with her brother, Riece, pulling him along making sure she does not miss her morning breakfast, her afternoon treat, and her bedtime snack. Her hibernation is over.
LuLu Belle, always eager to engage with all beings, is especially enthusiastic as people and pets pass by her on the sidewalk.
These subtle cues are my cue to prepare for the spring season.
Grooming either at a doggy salon or in your own bathroom. Here is list of to-dos:
- Depending on the breed, brush, trim, and remove any fur that has been knotted. In the case of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, this step needs to be done before their bath as the water will make the knots and tangles difficult to remove.
- Cut and trim nails.
- Carefully clean the ears with an ear cleaning liquid. This should be done on a regular basis. Check with your veterinarian to see which brand she suggests.
- Bathe your dog using doggy shampoo, rinse, and then use a doggy conditioner to soften their coat as well as add shine and brightness.
Health of Your Dog
- Review your pet’s medical history with your vet to make sure that they are current on their vaccinations. As they may be visiting dog parks and dog runs, you want to make sure that your pet is current on its vaccines, especially the Rabies and Kennel Cough vaccines.
- Apply flea and tick protection. This is extremely important even for city dogs. Since some people will take their dogs with them on country weekend holidays, those dogs may bring back flees or ticks that can quickly jump onto your pet. As the weather becomes nicer you may visit more dog parks or dog runs, and possibly expose your pet to fleas and ticks. Please check with your veterinarian to make sure you have the proper product.
- Also, if you are purchasing your flea and tick protection over the internet, please make sure to check the expiration date after you receive your product. There have been cases of owners unknowingly using expired flea and tick products only to discover that their beloved pet brought home the pests.
- April showers may entice you to purchase a doggy rain coat. Before I had dogs I thought that this accessory was a bit silly, but now, with three dogs, I see the benefit of the rain coat, as it reduces the amount of water they get on their coats. The rain coats help to keep the dog dry which means less water for you to dry off, and also reduce the ‘wet dog’ smell.
Human Spring Apparel
I have spring dog walking clothes – water proof boots, a rain coat and hat (for rainy days), sneakers (for sunny days) and of course – the essential accessory – sun glasses (for bright and beautiful days). The boots/shoes should have treads on the bottom so you will not slip if it is wet. My dog walking sun glasses have light lenses. When the lenses are dark it is easy to miss sidewalk messes such as garbage, scraps of food, other dog’s poo-poo (sometimes owners do not pick up after their dogs), or other undesirable substances that you do not want your dog to walk through, lick, sniff or eat.
Doggy Bag (like a diaper bag for dogs)
I use a Prada bag that I wear across my body. Please do not be impressed or think that I am a fashionista. I saved for months to get this bag, and I can tell you the best use for it is for carrying doggy poo-poo bags. It has no interior pockets, but it is nylon thus cleans up easily and is lightweight. In the bag I carry a large supply of plastic poo-poo bags, both big and small, paper towels for diarrhea or stomach upset accidents (I do my best to wipe up the concrete), a Ziploc bag for money, and business cards. While some people may have a better solution this works for me at this point. Men usually have far more pockets than women might have in their clothing, so a bag may not be an essential for them. As the weather gets nicer you may go on longer walks with your dog. Put a collapsible water bowl in your bag as well as a bottle of water. If the bag is too heavy you can always buy a bottle of water along the way, but the bowl is an essential convenience. While buying a bottle of water is easy, getting your dog to drink from the cap, or your cupped hand might be challenging.
Let’s face it. Much dirt will be dragged in the house. Have a mop on hand with your favorite cleaning product. Make sure to research ‘pet approved’ products before you use them on the floors. Also it is helpful to run the vacuum cleaner over the floor before you use any cleaning product. This reduces the amount of hair and dirt that collects on the mop and saves you time. If you have the luxury of a foyer, you may be able to let your pets dry. I recommend to have regular towels available to absorb water quickly.