Seasonal Tips for Essential Veterinary Care in Massachusetts

seasonal-tipsIf you are new to the South Coast region, you may be unfamiliar with the type of veterinary care required of dog owners in this area. The fall season is the best time to schedule some very basic pet care tasks that will help your dog to have a very comfortable and safe winter. Contact the veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to schedule an annual check-up and make sure to ask any questions that you might have about anxiety issues, heartworm treatment for dogs and other types of important veterinary care in Massachusetts this time of year.

Grooming and Important Treatments

Many dog owners choose this time of year to give their dog a really good bath at the end of summer. After all of the running around, playing and getting into things, it’s a good idea to get your dog cleaned up for several months of indoor snuggling with the family. Fall is the time of year when most dog’s experience allergic reactions or itchy skin, so giving your dog a good conditioning bath can be very helpful. At your annual vet appointment, make sure to talk with your veterinarian about any itchy spots or hot spots that should be addressed.

Another important thing that should be done this time of year is to apply flea and tick prevention. There is some debate about doing heartworm treatment for dogs in the northeastern region during the cold months, so speak with your vet to find out if your dog is at-risk. Clipping your dog’s nails and cleaning his ears can help you to identify if there are any parasite or pest issues that should be addressed.

Check Your Outdoor Spaces

If your dog spends any amount of time outdoors in the fall and winter months, make sure that you have warm bedding and a safe shelter for him to use when it gets cold or during inclement weather. Some pet owners will allow dogs and cats to use garage access during the winter months or provide a large, well-insulated dog house to improve their ability to provide a warm, safe and comfortable place for their pet to curl up in when it snows. Make sure to wash and treat all outdoor bedding for fleas and ticks before putting it into the dog house or other enclosed space. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of cleaning and treating your dog, only to expose him to ticks and fleas outdoors.

Ensure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water and nutritional, quality dog food to keep his metabolism, energy and immunity levels up during the cold season. Provide a fenced in yard or run area for your dog to use for exercise during the winter when pet owners are less likely to want to take a walk around the neighborhood on a daily basis. Take a look at your dog’s collar, leashes, fences, runs, leads and tags to make sure that everything is in proper working order. Replace anything that is broken or worn out. You don’t want to have an equipment-related crisis when there’s several feet of snow on the ground.

Tips for Winter Coats

Have a kit ready and on hand that will help you to stay on top of your dog’s thicker winter coat this time of year. Brushing will take twice as long and, if your dog spends a majority of his time indoors, he will probably shed throughout the winter as well due to the temperature difference. Consider specialty sprays, shampoos and conditioners that can help reduce the amount of shedding that your dog will experience.

Also, make sure that your vacuum and any equipment that you use to keep hair off of furniture, rugs and draperies is in working order. Dog hair can be very hard on vacuum cleaners and HEPA filters, so now is a good time to do a good vacuum cleaning. Continue to check it a couple of times during the winter months so it will keep working properly. Consider a special made-for-pets vacuum if you tend to go through vacuums often.

Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth

Whether you have questions about weather-related anxiety issues in dogs, have concerns about using heartworm treatment for dogs in the winter months or need another type of veterinary care in Massachusetts, look no further than Anchor Animal Hospital. Our team can provide your pet with quality veterinary care, treatment, prevention and other related services. We serve pet owners in the South Coast area, including Cape Cod and all of Southeastern Massachusetts, as well as Rhode Island. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth takes all types of pets including cats, dogs, reptiles, birds and pocket pets, such as hamsters and guinea pigs. Give us a call to set up an appointment or stop to check out our facility.