Lyle says, “It’s springtime!” Important Seasonal Reminders for Dog Owners


Just when we thought it would never arrive, Spring is finally here. This is exciting for humans and their pups; more outdoor time for everyone!

Many curious dogs are thrilled to discover what winter has left behind in the grass, the garage, or on the streets. However, what your dog might find worthy of a sizable sniff or deep dig might also be dangerous. Consider walking around your property and doing a visual sweep of your yard to keep your eye out for foreign objects, choking hazards, and deceased rodents.

The garage is another place where dogs can get into unwanted trouble, so a good spring sweeping can help remove objects not intended for curious canines. Be sure to pick up fertilizers, chemicals, and sharp objects.

Note too that some of the most beautiful springtime flowers and their bulbs are toxic for dogs. Hyacinths, irises, and tulips all contain toxins that are harmful if ingested and may cause diarrhea and stomach irritation. Daffodils should also be avoided as they can cause similar gastrointestinal issues and have even been linked to depression in pups.

Between longer walks, dog parks, and neighborhood play dates, springtime often brings more socialization for you and your pup. For your dog’s health and safety, as well as out of respect for others, this is an important time to make sure your dog has had their annual veterinary exam and is up to date on their recommended shots. Some cities (including Minneapolis) require all dogs to be licensed. Any reputable daycare and boarding facility will ask for up to date vaccinations as well.

Spring is the ideal time to discuss plans with your vet for heartworm, flea and tick prevention, as well as any prospective signs your dog might have seasonal allergies. While heartworm disease is preventable, it can be serious and potentially deadly for dogs. Heartworm is transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes — and we all know Minnesota has plenty of these fierce flying friends!

Speaking of allergies, having your dog professionally washed or groomed is a great way to monitor for skin irritations or irregularities which can flare up this time of year. Some dogs may benefit from special shampoos or even medication to help control seasonal allergies.

All this springtime excitement can get extra messy. Don’t let them miss out on the fun of spring puddle jumping, muddy walks, and playdates. Dog’s Day Out has you covered with eight DIY bathing tubs and full-service bathing and grooming by appointment. A la carte toothbrushing, nail trimming, and anal gland expression are available too. We’re open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offer 25% off for all first time customers.

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.”