While the dog days of summer aren’t here quite yet, I spent a few “dog days” this spring preparing my pooch for them anyway. One of the 28979272937 reasons why I love the summer is that I can bring Moe with me pretty much everywhere. My friends and family know full well that an invite for any outdoor event comes with an implicit +1. Moe has shown up at everything from outdoor movie viewings, BBQs, housewarmings, camping weekends, cottage weekends, and even backyard motorcycle tune-up sessions.
So how do I get Moe ready for summer? This should give you a better idea:
1) Annual check up
This is where I ensure Moe’s health is at 100%. Since Moe is getting up there in boxer years, I make sure he gets full bloodwork to ensure there are no hidden problems and I make sure to ask any questions I have based on his health and behaviour. He gets his annual vaccinations and a heartworm test at this appointment too. Moe loves all the attention he gets at the vet and the cat is happy to share the vet’s attention!
2) Change crate bedding
I take out all of the thick, warm winter bedding and wash it before putting it in storage. Then the summer crate pad and thin blanket goes in for the summer to make sure his crate is comfortable and cool. Moe had to be crate trained again last fall due to some behavioural issues and while he doesn’t have to be in his crate every time I leave now he has started going there with his special treats and toys. I’m more than happy to make his little man-cave crate comfortable if it means he’ll enjoy his time there more.
3) Spring Spa Day
Moe absolutely hates the bath so I try to dedicate a chunk of time to do this so that neither of us are rushed or stressed. I like to do the bath, ear cleaning, coat brushing, nail trimming and teeth brushing all in one go so that it’s all over and done with. Then we celebrate with a favourite bone and a drink.
4) New season means new toys
The spring is a great time to refresh that ratty toy collection the dog has been working on all winter. This year I visited a local store near Trinity Bellwoods called The Dog Bowl and stocked up on our favourite toys and treats. I always get one special squeak toy that I restrict access to for ‘special’ occasions, an assortment of chew toys, some good brain activity toys, and Moe’s favourite treats and bones. Then I go home and either throw out old toys or relegate them to the “camping or cottage” pile.
5) Stock up on heartworm and tick and lyme disease preventative medication
This is one of the most important steps in my spring care routine with Moe. After the heartworm test comes out clear I be sure to treat him with heartworm medication each month. I also apply a special topical medication from Bayer that prevents from tick and lyme disease. Lyme disease is one of those things that most city dog owners don’t think about but I know that Moe goes on many adventures each summer out of the city and may encounter ticks in any of the grassy or wooded areas he explores. It only takes about 24 hours of a tick feeding on your dog to transmit the infection!
This year I was provided with a sample of Bayer K9 Advantix II to protect Moe from external parasites including ticks. It goes on in one drop and works by attacking the nerve cells of parasites to paralyze and kill them on contact. Pretty cool, right? (This bug-hater thinks so!)
Because why wouldn’t I want to protect this mug from everything that I can?