It’s time to get outside and take advantage of all the warmer weather has to offer and do things that the cold temperatures may have prevented you from doing. To help you and your dog get ready for summer, American Kennel Club Canine Partners offers the following suggestions:
• Get a clean bill of health. It’s good to take your dog for a checkup after being cooped up in the house for the winter.
• Drop the winter weight. Many of us pack on a few pounds during the cold winter months, and chances are our dogs have, too. If your dog is looking a little fuller these days, it’s time to talk to your veterinarian about a safe weight-loss regimen. Try cutting back on treats that add calories to your dog’s diet. Instead, try giving him baby carrots.
• Play outside. Now that the weather is warming up, take the opportunity to get outside with your dog. Start slowly if your dog hasn’t exercised much over the winter. Try taking a walk to the local dog park, or playing fetch in your yard.
• Beware of the grass. Your dog will finally be able to run and play on the grass, but be careful where you let the dog go. The chemicals used on lawns don’t belong on your dog’s paws. Make sure you clean his pads after playing on grass.
• Groom the coat. Shedding increases in the springtime as dogs lose their winter coats. Make sure to brush your dog regularly. This will help keep the shedding under control.