April Showers Bring -Allergies?! The Essential Dog Guide to Spring

Spring has sprung and your best furry friend is ready to hit the parks, trails, and lakes. Warmer weather means it's the perfect time for outdoor adventures. Extra playtime for your dog is a great way to get some exercise and keep their boundless energy under control. With so much to love about springtime, it's easy to overlook the seasonal hazards that can throw a wrench in your plans.

Your friends at Loyal Canine Co. have put together the essential dog owner's guide to preparing for spring. Keep your pup happy, healthy, and safe with these key tips for avoiding common risks.

Don't Catch Spring Fever

More time outside means more exposure to common canine allergens. Pollen, dust mites, grass, and even food allergies are often at their worst during the springtime. This can leave your best furry friend itchy, scratchy, and miserable.

Plan ahead to manage canine allergies and provide relief for your outdoor adventurer. 

At their most basic level, allergies are the immune system's response to foreign matter, such as dust, pollen, and certain ingredients. The three main allergies in dogs include skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies. Often, a dog may experience multiple allergies, and owners will see a rise in symptoms as each irritant lowers immunotolerance and triggers the other irritants along the way. 

The result? Watery eyes, broken skin on your pet's nose and paws, red, itchy ears, stinky coats, and all-around seasonal misery.

Work with your veterinarian to identify the root of your pet's allergies. For food allergies, starting your spring cleaning off by ditching the junk is a great plan. Commercial pet foods contain harmful chemicals and cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy that are often the culprits behind your dog's allergies. A holistic diet supports a healthy immune system and overall wellness for all of your warm-weather adventures. Consider formulas high in lean protein that feed your dog's inner wolf when transitioning to a new diet.

When it comes to managing seasonal allergies in dogs, be mindful of the timing of your daily adventures. If your dog is particularly sensitive, avoid walking them in the early morning or later in the evening when pollen levels are at their highest. Change your air filters regularly at home and in the car to ensure clean, dust-free air is being circulated.

You can also supplement your dog's natural defenses holistically by adding a dose of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to their diet. Bathing your pup with a hypoallergenic formula helps manage seasonal irritants and keep their skin and coat feeling fresh. For long road trips, hikes, or camping excursions, plan ahead with convenient travel-sized canine dry shampoo sprays and balms.

Dog running outside with its owner during Spring

Keep Your Dog Playdates Accident Free this Spring

More days out means more chances for playdates at dog parks. In addition, wildlife may be present on trails, providing an opportunity for a "playdate" of a different kind. 

Be sure your dog is up to date on his or her vaccines. Staying current on rabies, leptospiroses, and other vaccines critical in case of an accident. Even if you know your dog well, the chance of encountering a skittish or aggressive canine at the park can happen to anyone. Wildlife poses an additional threat with the prospect of transmitting harmful diseases. Owners planning a spring or summer vacation may also want to consider updating their pet's kennel cough vaccine to ensure a safe and healthy boarding experience.

Parasite Prevention

Avoid a flea circus this spring by taking proactive measures to prevent parasites. Fleas, ticks, and worms all pose a threat to your dog's health and wellbeing. These pesky parasites flourish in warm conditions, making spring and summer prime time for unwelcome "guests." 

Get your pet outfitted with a flea and tick medication that suits your dog's size and lifestyle. Dogs who spend a majority of their time outside will especially benefit from a flea collar or single drop dose of a deterrent. Always ensure your dog's heartworm vaccine is up to date prior to heading off on your next big journey.

If you're looking for an all-natural option, many holistic flea and tick deterrents exist for dogs. Herbal flea sprays are the go-to for many pet parents. You can even DIY your own parasite prevention arsenal by mixing up 4 liters of vinegar, 2 liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice, and 250 ml of witch hazel in a large spray bottle to disinfect your home, car, and your pet's bed. Sprinkling baking soda throughout your carpet followed by vacuuming is a great way to kill any flea eggs living in your home.

Essential oils are the ultimate natural remedy for fleas and ticks. Bathe your dog regularly with a plant-based soap that includes parasite fighting ingredients like sweet orange, peppermint, and lavender, while soothing flea-bitten skin with rich shea butter for instant relief.

Fun in the Sun

Even balmy spring temperatures can quickly become sweltering, especially for dog breeds with double-layered coats and dense fur. Always pack extra water for your pup when planning a hike. If your dog is new to the trails, start out slow so you gain an understanding of his or her stamina. Take frequent rest breaks and be aware of the telltale signs of heat exhaustion such as excessive panting, lying down, and lack of coordination.

Be especially aware of breeds such as Golden Retrievers who are prone to sunburns on their sensitive nose. Dogs with pinker skin and exposed skin may be at greater risk for broken and dry noses and pads. Keep your dog hydrated by including healing and protective balm in their adventure pack. This convenient product works to effectively treat minor cuts and scrapes, soothe sun-damaged skin, and protect sensitive areas from harmful UV rays.

Go prepared for every adventure with your best furry friend. Feeling the call of your next journey? Check out everything you need to know about a day at the beach with your dog.

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