When the snow melts and the flowers begin to bloom, you might be thinking about heading into your backyard to get a little exercise. Chances are, your dog is thinking about that too. But what is lurking under the snow might be dangerous, not just for you and your pet, but to the local environment and area wildlife. After a season of snow and ice, everything begins to melt away, and the ground underneath is revealed. Months of pet waste in the winter months doesn’t just disappear, it lingers until you clean it up. One of the best spring tips for pet owners in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island is just to get out there and take care of this important spring cleaning task.
Why Pet Waste is Dangerous
Most people don’t realize that pet waste carries a wide range of bacteria, parasites, and even viruses. They often think that because cow manure is used to fertilize grass, that it is actually good for the lawn. The truth is that cow manure is used because cows are vegetarians. Our dogs are very much carnivorous, and when meat is consumed, bacteria and other dangers are typically present in the waste. Not only is this dangerous to your pets who have to run around in that backyard to exercise and do their “business,” but it is risky for everyone else. In particular, children and senior citizens can be at-risk of becoming very sick. Other local dogs and wildlife can also be in danger, and just leaving it there can attract rodents to your yard.
The bacteria from the waste can also be carried away into the groundwater by melting snow and ice, along with springtime rains, bringing it to nearby storm drains. The water is then transported to streams, lakes, and rivers in the local area, polluting them as well. The nutrients in pet waste are found increase growth of algae and weeds, which can harm area aquatic life. It is a never-ending circle of danger when pet owners don’t clean up after their pets. The best solution is to do it daily, but if you can’t, make sure to consider these seasonal pet tips and clean it up as soon as the snow begins to reveal the “buried treasure” underneath. You can even contact pet waste removal companies in the South Coast area who will come out and do it for you if time is an issue or if you are physically unable to do it yourself.
Schedule a Spring Vet Checkup
Another good thing to do is to schedule your pet for a springtime veterinary checkup. While some pets will only need to visit Dartmouth animal hospital once a year for checkups to maintain good health, others may require more frequent visits. Age, health, and lifestyle are some of the reasons to visit the veterinarian more often. Ask your vet about a smart schedule to keep your pet healthy. This can help to avoid a trip to the emergency veterinary hospital and ensure that your pet lives a long and happy life.
Seasonal preventive treatments, such as flea and tick medications, heartworm preventive, and parasite checkups, are often done this time of year as well. It’s a good idea to speak with your veterinarian at our Dartmouth animal hospital to find out what preventive treatments are recommended for your pet. Dogs are often most at-risk due to the time that they spend outdoors, whether in the backyard or out on leash walks in the neighborhood. Vaccinations and boosters are essential to keep your pets safe, especially if they come in contact with other pets in the local area. A shared backyard fence can mean shared contact with an unvaccinated pet that might be carrying a disease. It pays to be careful and cautious.
Other Things to Do in the Spring
As you do the annual post-winter inspection on your home, make sure to trim any bushes or trees that might have broken or dead branches. Not only could they cause damage to your home and property, but the might fall on your pet. Clean any trash that has blown into your pet’s area in the backyard and make repairs to your gate or any fencing that might have come loose during the winter. The more secure your backyard is for your pets, the better. Performing a perimeter check around your property is not just good spring tips for pet owners, but also good advice for homeowners. The more you can do to ensure that your property is safe, secure, and in good repair, the better it will be for everyone involved.
To schedule an appointment at Anchor Animal Hospital, please give us a call at 508-996-3731. We provide a wide range of services at our Dartmouth animal hospital. For details about our emergency veterinary hospital, please visit our About page on our website. Continue reading our blog for more seasonal pet tips that you can use year-round to keep your pets healthy, safe, and happy!