Spring is here and it’s time to get our pets, and ourselves, outside again! I wanted to touch base on important tips to help keep your furry friends safe during walks this spring.

You can keep your dog or cat safe on walks by ensuring that they have a properly fitted collar or harness. If you’re unsure of the fit, feel free to bring your pet and collar into our store for a personal fitting. Collars or harnesses that are too loose can slip off; and unless your pet has excellent recall abilities, they could find themselves in a very dangerous situation. It is also important to check your leash for any wear and tear, frayed areas, or improperly functioning clips. This is especially important for retractable leashes as they can often stick or fail to lock in place.

With temperatures increasing, dogs will experience thirst while on walks. Portable water bowls are excellent to bring along as they are lightweight and reusable. Offer your pet water approximately every 10 minutes you are walking, especially when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for signs of heat exhaustion such as rapid panting, bright red tongue, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If signs are present, get your dog home immediately and wet with cool (not cold!) water and if possible, use a fan to circulate cold air around them. Once their temperature has dropped, call your veterinarian. Brachycephalic breeds (bulldogs, boxers, pugs, etc.) are at particularly high risk for heat stroke.

It is also important to have your pet microchipped and always keep up to date ID tags on them at all times.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet-related topic.