Springtime Safety Tips for Dogs

Unless you live in a very mild or tropical zone, making the transition from spring to summer requires some
adjustments for dogs and owners alike. Just as winter ice doesn't become summer grass overnight,
changeable conditions require flexibility. Here are some things to take into consideration now that spring has
sprung:

Spring Outer Wear: If your dog wears a coat in winter, unless the heat transition is very dramatic, you may
want him to wear a lighter sweater or doggy tee walking in the chilly sun. Coat-donning dogs are accustomed
to having their body temperatures managed, and they get chilly easily.

Paw Care: Conscious spring paw care is essential. Roadside banks of icy snow have been repeatedly
inundated with salt and other snow melting chemicals. The puddles from these glaciers are toxic and harsh for
the pads.

Remember to wash your dog's feet with soap after every walk and beware of thirsty dogs who want to lap up
snow melt water. As the sun warms the roads, dogs will again get thirsty on walks, so carry a water bottle and
travel bowl to prevent sipping roadside sludge.

Shedding: Many dogs shed in spring. Shedding is a natural transition, but the dry, winter coat can cause mats
and tangles as it falls out, especially if your dog wears a coat or a sweater outside.

Always remember to take your dog's warm clothes off inside after every walk. Gentle, regular brushing in
spring helps restore oils to the new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents the dreaded dreads of an unkempt
coat. Your vet may approve canine Omega 3 oil capsules to assist this transitional period for the coat.

Exercise: Warmer weather means we all feel friskier. It is normal for dogs to store fat in winter, but a heavier
dog needs to begin spring exercise gently. Just as you may want to ease back into an outdoor exercise
routine, your companion dog also needs to take it slowly at first. Increase walks and runs in the park steadily,
but gradually.

Allergies: Dogs get springtime allergies too. As is the case for humans, dogs can become allergic over time, so
do not be surprised if your dog's reactions to springtime allergens change from puppy to adult. Pollen from the
first flowering trees, dandelions and tulips, dust, mold and even insects can cause allergic reactions.

Symptoms include itching, coughing, sneezing, flaky skin or an oily-feeling coat. Never use human allergy
medicines for dogs on your own initiative. Canine allergy medicines are effective; your vet can prescribe the
safest dose.

Toxic Plants and Mulch: Spring bulb plants pushing out of the ground often attract dogs. It's not that dogs just
want to ruin the landscaping. Squirrels and rodents are also attracted to spring bulbs and an inquisitive dog
might be hot on the trail.

But beware. Many spring bulbs fall into the allium family, and onions (allium) are toxic to dogs. Furthermore,
cocoa mulch, often used as bedding mulch for park side flower beds, is very attractive to, but highly toxic to
dogs. Keep your dog out of the flower beds and nobody will get hurt.

Lawn Chemicals: In the spring, your dog will be able finally to run on grass, not frozen snow or dead thatch.
Please pay attention to where you let your dog run. Spring lawn care often combines herbicide and pesticide
treatments to kill insect larva, ticks, fleas, "critters," and seed-sprouting weeds.

Nitrogen-based fertilizers, blood meal, milorganite, rose boosters and Japanese beetle inhibitors, grub killers,
herbicides, insecticides (especially those with organophosphates), rodenticides, acid fertilizer for holly and
azalea and slug and snail baits do not belong on dogs' paws. While these chemical washes might produce a
green lawn, they also produce a toxic lawn for dogs. So, walk your dog in the safe scrubby grass in spring and
keep an eye out for the "pesticide treated" signs in the formal lawns. Pesticides, herbicides and dogs don't go
together.

By thinking ahead, dog owners can head off problems and help their dogs get the most out of getting out and
about in spring.
Springtime Safety Tips for Dogs
What you should know about your Dog's
Grooming
Just prior to your grooming appointment it would be very helpful
if you took your best friend for a walk.  The exercise helps relieve
their stress & they will have had the chance to relieve themselves
which will result in a much more comfortable groom for them.   
Pets are like children in that they don't like to have their owners
leave them.  They might shake & show fear which is very
stressful  to some owners, however once you leave the shop
they tend to relax to their new surroundings very quickly.  
When you instruct us regarding the type of cut you would like
your pet to have, we interpret your instructions & hopefully the
look is just as you described.  If not, please let us know.  Our goal
is to provide the cut exactly as you requested with the exception
of matted pets.  Mats left on a pets coat only grow tighter, & can
strangle their skin, and even eventually tear it open.  We will
honor your instructions but sometimes we may choose not to
proceed, excessive de-matting a pet can be a very painful
process, we all groom because we love animals and it is much
more humane to cut their hair short and let the hair grow back in.  
Then, getting your pet groomed on a regular schedule will
prevent that from happening again.  
Working with live animals requires a great deal of skill.  Some
pets are more skittish or wiggley than others and we are working
with sharp instruments.   Each dog and every breed is unique.  
For these reasons there is always a risk of nicking or cutting the
animal accidentally, even when the greatest of care is used by a
very experienced groomer.  
We attempt in every way to have your pet ready at the appointed
time.  Due to the special nature of working with live pets, things
may not go as scheduled.  If you arrive and we are still grooming
your pet, please make every attempt not to let them hear or see
you as it is very difficult and more importantly, dangerous
grooming an excited pet.  
 Your patients is greatly appreciated.
We are in this business because we love and deeply care for
dogs.  Please be assured that here at K-9 Cottage the welfare of
your very special pet is our biggest concern.  Your trust and
continued patronage is the very nicest compliment you can give.  
We will continue working hard to earn the trust you placed in our
ability to care for your pet.  If you have any questions or concerns,
please never hesitate to call us at the Cottage 747-4626.