Blog Archives

Dogs tend to love spring because they get to spend more time outdoors. After being cooped up during the winter it is a joy for them to be able to take advantage of the lengthening and warming days to release all of their pent up winter energy. It is equally joyful for us watching our dogs have a good time. However the warmer days bring about certain health concerns so take a moment and make sure your dog is fully prepared for spring.


Depending on where you live mosquitoes start becoming more active. Generally heartworm preventative medication should be given year round to prevent infection because mosquitoes thrive year round in many parts of the country and as our climate continues to warm mosquitoes tend to stay active longer each year. Despite this some pet owners do not give heartworm preventatives in the winter so spring is a good time of year to make sure your dog has been checked for heartworm and is current on his heartworm preventative medication. The cost of heartworm preventative medication is a bargain when compared to how much it costs to treat heartworm disease.

In addition to mosquitoes, ticks and fleas become more prevalent as well. There are a variety of products available to combat these nuisances, so ask your veterinarian which one is best for your dog. Start early as preventing ticks and fleas from becoming a problem is far easier than dealing with a major flea infestation and get into the habit of regularly checking your dog for ticks. Ticks are typically found around the head, on the ears, neck, chest and forelegs although they can be found anywhere. Usually it is easier to find them by feeling for them instead of looking depending on how long your dog’s coat is.

Spring is a good time to check and make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Dog to dog contact increases in the spring and continues on into the summer months. Your dog is exposed to more infectious diseases during this time of year. For example many veterinary clinics start to see increased incidence of kennel cough in the spring because of increasing dog-to-dog contact.

Spring for some people means it is time to plan and start your garden. Selecting plants that are safe for dogs will go a long way in preventing toxicities from occurring. Keep in mind that some dogs can enjoy digging as much as we do so avoid planting toxic bulbs such as hyacinths, tulips, daffodils and certain lilies. Fertilizers and mulch can be toxic as well so store them in an inaccessible area like a shed when not in use and do not allow your dog in the garden area.

With spring generally comes spring cleaning. Be aware that many household cleaning products are harmful to dogs so follow instructions as posted on the label and store all chemicals out of reach when not in use.

With spring rains come spring mud, keep your dog’s feet dry and your house clean by keeping a towel near the door and perhaps in your car as well.

Spring means fun times for dogs (and humans) so pick up the leash and go for a walk or hit the dog park. You are bound to notice a little spring in your dog’s steps.

Read more:


You and your pet have been waiting all winter long and finally spring is in the air, which means daily walks, playing fetch, and chasing smaller creatures that scurry about outdoors.  But spring isn’t the only thing in the air…the much dreaded pests,  allergies, and shedding fur balls will also be circulating. We want to help you and your pet prepare for these important changes. Read on to find out how.


Spring is a time for dealing with all the remnants of winter, the dreaded spring cleaning of your home but don’t forget your pet! With warmer weather just around the corner, do you know how to prepare your pet for spring? Here is our Pet Expert checklist for the upcoming season:


With the weather warming up you will start to notice your pets (cats & dogs) shedding much more. Out with the old heavy, fuzzy undercoats and in with new sleek fur. As the weather changes your pet is losing its winter coat, even inside-only cats will do this. To help cut down on this shedding, regularly brush your pet’s coat with a de-shedding tool. Furminator tools are a great choice for this. They work incredibly well at taking out the undercoat from both cats and dogs, even shorthaired breeds. To better loosen the hair, give your pet a bath and really scrub them with your hands against the hair growth. Once dry, give them a good brushing and you will be amazed at the hair that comes off.

Remember: people shampoos and conditioners are made for people not pets and can actually harm them (They have sensitivities that we don’t!).

Here are some tips to help with your spring grooming:

  1. If the coat looks dry, apply a gentle pet conditioner.
  2. For dry and flaky skin use an oatmeal based pet shampoo.
  3. Salt, snow and cold can cause paws to crack, apply a moistening ointment if necessary.
  4. Check and make sure ears are clean and have no sign of ear mites. DO NOT use Q-tips, the best option is liquid ear cleaners.
  5. Brush, Brush, Brush! But be gentle when working out those pesky knots. Brush against the grain to remove hair and with it to smooth out the coat.
  6. Don’t forget to trim your pet’s nails. If you are not comfortable doing them yourself, take them into a groomer or vet and have them done. You can also check your local store for nail trimming days!


Washing Your Pet’s Toys & Bedding

The winter also brings a fair bit of dust into our homes, and with keeping windows shut your pet’s favourite items become stale. Bedding and fabric toys can be run through the washing machine, while leashes, collars and plastic toys should be hand washed in hot, soapy water.

Seasonal Allergies

Just like people, many pets get seasonal allergies.  Pets have very similar symptoms for allergies: watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, itching or sneezing.  These symptoms are inflammatory based, the same as in humans. Luckily, there are things we can do to ease our pet’s allergies.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acid is beneficial for overall health, and can help decrease inflammation in your pet’s body. Salmon oil is a great way to add more Omega-3 to your pet’s diet.
  2. Coconut Oil is another natural additive that can ease symptoms of allergies. Coconut oil contains something called “lauric acid” that helps decrease the production of yeast and in turn stops or reduces inflammation.
  3. Bathing also helps by getting rid of airborne allergens that may have attached themselves to your pet.


Warm weather also signals the beginning of pest season. Fleas, ticks, biting flies and mosquitos are starting to come back for the season and with them bring annoyance and illnesses for many pets (and people!).  In many areas, if not continued year-round, it is time to begin heartworm prevention. Your vet will be able to give you the best type and dosage for your pet. Commonly, these preventatives also help with other pests too.

Fleas and ticks can carry many parasites that can seriously harm your pet, so it is important to treat this at the first signs. Fleas can cause pets to suffer allergic reactions and skin problems, anemia, tapeworm, rickettsiosis and cat scratch disease. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Some of these diseases can be transmitted to people from fleas and ticks, and some can be transmitted from pets to people. Zodiac offers many options for flea and tick prevention and treatment and can be used alongside your heartworm preventative. Ask our Pet Experts about the best product for your pet.