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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Fever and other Calamities

Spring brings life to the world, one that has been sleeping all winter. It also brings life to mother cats and dogs. It is a time when kittens and puppies begin to populate the shelters, a time when adult pets are overlooked for all the cute, fresh faces in cages. This is also the best time to be sure your cats and dogs are spayed and neutered so they don’t add to the problem.

Another thing spring brings to the pet world is spring fever. Your pets will smell those wonderful scents and feel the warmth of the sun and hear all those curious sounds from the big world outside. They may be drawn to the experience. You may be like me and throw your windows open as soon as the temperature outside is warmer than that on your thermostat. Before you leave the room, however, be sure to check your screens. Your pets may get excited by the great outdoors and lean too heavily on the screens and if they aren’t secure she could fall out.

Also watch your doors more closely during this time. Any normal pet may be tempted to follow you out of the door as Mewdy Blue did one night. He is an indoor-only cat but gets spring fever every year. One night I was carrying something in the door and didn’t watch for sneaking cats. Mewdy Blue snuck out and was gone for nearly 24 hours before finally slinking meekly back home.

Spring also means severe weather in most locales so you need to be prepared. First figure out what types of emergencies might strike your area and make a plan for your protection. If you have to take shelter within the house will your pets follow you or will you have to carry them with you? Will they panic or should you cage them during the event? What if you have to evacuate, what will you do with your pets then? Many emergency shelters do not accept pets. Can they be boarded somewhere or will there be time for that?

Make a packet of emergency supplies for possible evacuation that should include food, water, bowls, identification papers, rabies certificates, leashes, medications and other necessities. Perhaps the best way to be sure your pet is easily identified is to have it microchipped. That way if your pet gets lost in the confusion of an emergency you have a better chance of finding him.

Your dog is going to enjoy his time outside even more this time of year but before letting him run loose in the yard check to be sure you don’t have any poisonous plants sprouting. In some areas you might also find poisonous or toxic critters running, or hopping, about. Be aware of what critters might be indigenous to your area and keep a watchful eye out for them.

Spring is a great time to renew and refresh the spirit but taking a few precautions will make that experience a safer one.

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