Written by Crystal Sale, Animal House Chiropractic
Spring is right around the corner, bringing with it warmer weather, longer days, and lots of bugs. Because of the mild winter, there will be an excess of insects trying to find their host this year. So it’s time to start prepping the house and the pets for the season! Here are a few tips to get your bulldog ready for spring.
Heartworm Prevention: While I am not a huge proponent of putting vaccines and chemicals into our furbabies’ systems, heartworm is a very serious condition. The consequences of the disease, in my opinion, far exceed any risks from the preventative. Heartworms are blood-borne parasites that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of the infected animal causing irreparable damage, which eventually can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure, and death. Mosquitoes carry the heartworms from one animal to another through feeding. While a heartworm preventative is essential, it is also a good idea to limit your bulldog’s exposure to mosquitoes in the first place.
Try mixing your own natural repellent using the recipe below. Make sure you shake the mixture before using and avoid eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals when applying.
- Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe –
- 12 oz. bottle of witch hazel (use one without alcohol or parabens)
- 15 – 17 drops of citronella oil
- 15 – 17 drops of lemongrass oil
- 10 drops of peppermint oil
Flea and Tick Prevention: Both ticks and fleas carry their own slew of diseases, so again, prevention is key. Now is the time to start preventatives before stepping foot outside. So many chemical repellants are serious irritants to your pet’s skin and only cause more problems and distress to your pet. Look for natural solutions, such as Dr. Becker’s Flea & Tick Defense (http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/pest-repellents/). If your pet has already been hit, try natural, food-grade diatomaceous earth to help remove pests from your bulldog’s body. (https://www.diatomaceousearth.com/natural-flea-control-for-dogs/)
Allergies: Pet allergies seem to be a pretty normal occurrence in Texas. If your pet is prone to itchy skin in the spring and summer months, here are a few tips to help keep allergies at a minimum.
- Bathe your pet frequently. Baths will help wash off any allergens that may be clinging to pet’s coat.
- Wash off your pet’s feet before coming into the house. This will help decrease the chance of spreading any allergens throughout your home.
- Soothe sores with chamomile tea. Brew a strong batch, refrigerate, and transfer it to a spray bottle for instant relief. A dash of distilled white vinegar can be added to help with ear troubles caused by allergies.
- Vacuum and clean regularly, especially floors and pet bedding.
- Keep your pet adjusted. Regular animal chiropractic maintenance will boost your pet’s immune system, decreasing the potential for allergens to cause outward irritation.
Dog Training: Make sure your bulldog is well trained before venturing out to pet-friendly restaurants and events. Stake out your local dog trainer or try a dog training app. Try Dog Training HD by Pocket Cocktails. For $4.99, it provides tons of great information on training your dog and also gives you tips for training, preparing for, choosing, and caring for a puppy to get you and your dog on the right track from the beginning. Dog Training by Matthew Melville is a free app that gives you video instruction on how to train your dog.