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As you are getting ready to tune-up the lawnmower, clean-up the garden, and freshen up the porch, remember that your pet needs to get ready for spring, too.   Most pets spend their time indoors during the winter months and their copats and bodies change due to their hibernation and less time outside in natural surroundings.  The spring is a great time to have your pet  groomed, evaluated aand ready for more outdoor fun and exercise.
 Prevention is the best medicine for your pets, and with the advent of the longer days, warmer temperatures, and the charm of newly developing flowers, you and your pet may want to spend more time outdoors.  Before you start a new exercise routine with your pet, it would be a good idea to go to the veterinarian’s for a regular wellness check, shots and immunizations to prepare for more time outdoors.  If you have a regular veterinarian for your pet, call and ask them what is needed to keep current on routine vaccinations, blood tests, and request an examination. 
 Because pets age more rapidly than humans, preventive health care is the most effective approach to keeping your pets well, healthy, and happy.  Many potential health problems can be avoided if caught early enough, such as obesity, thyroid disease, skin disease, diabetes, kidney disease, dental problems and others.  Routine examinations at least twice a year by the veterinarian can avoid most health problems.
 An increase in the amount of exercise your pets gets can have the same effects as a human when they start to exercise after a hiatus.  Your pet may get aches in their legs and back, their feet may get sore, and they may experience dehydration.  If you notice that your pet is limping or has sore muscles after exercising, check to make sure their feet and toes do not have any foreign objects stuck in them, and gently massage the sore areas.  If you feel any lumps or have any concerns, take the pet to the veterinarian.
 Dehydration includes the loss of essential electrolytes, minerals, and water from your pet’s body.  Dehydration can be caused by lack of adequate water, excessive panting, exposure to heat, prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea, or even a fever.  Any of these can cause a number of serious health problems for your pet, with the worst effects being organ failure and even death.  It is always a good idea to bring along a portable water bottle and/or water dish for your pet excursions.  If you think your pet may be dehydrated, slowly give them ice or water, and in extreme cases, give your pet an electrolyte supplement that you can obtain from your veterinarian.
Spring is generally considered a time to clean the house, the yard, and the car.  Why not also consider the spring a great time to clean your pet?  Have them professionally groomed and checked for fleas and ticks.  Make sure that you buy an extensive supply of flea and tick treatments for your pet so the two of you can enjoy your newly found freedom outdoors.  Then, call your pet, grab their leash, and head off for a day of fun in the park, at the beach, or looking for wildflowers in the woods!

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