Giving your pet’s health a spring clean

Andrew Pons - pets in springWelcome to September- the first month of spring and the feeling of warmth and holiday in the air. For your pet, it’s also a great time to instil some good habits, check out some important health issues and get prepared for the warmer months.

Looking at things like flea and tick prevention is important. So too is health and diet. Using spring as a time to spruce up your pet’s health can be easy if you let it.

Wondering how to spring clean your pet Fox Valley Animal Hospital style? Wonder no more!

Think about that excess coat

We know cats and dogs produce extra coat to protect against the cooler weather. And what comes on must come off! That’s why early September is the perfect time to give your furry friend a good old fashioned de-shedding and clean. It’s also a great time to get ready for the warmer months and dig into flea and tick prevention.

At the Pooch Parlour, we offer de-shedding and washing for dogs. The simple act of bringing your dog in at that beginning of spring can help the shedding process enormously. That sole visit can reduce excess coat by up to 70{4e16e80552bc34beec20bb748fa6a4b4bdde58d807858b510214db72831257f5} and give you the opportunity to spot any skin conditions as part of the process. We can also help advise you with any specialist shampoos you may need to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Our staff are also trained to spot signs of activity from parasites in case flea and tick prevention needs updating.

For cats, we recommend regular brushing at home to remove the undercoat of dead fur found in the change from winter to spring. While cats do a fairly good job of keeping themselves clean, the volume of hair shed at this time is too much for a feline to handle on their own. And ignoring that undercoat can lead to skin irritation and excessive hair balls. Not to mention, dropped fur around the home.

Sunshine triggers your cat’s shedding process. So you may need to give them a decent grooming daily over a period of a week or two to really make any in-roads on a winter coat.

You can help your cat shed by:

  • Participating in short and positive brushing sessions
  • Treat your cat during the process and don’t push it past when he/she has lost interest
  • Use patting and compliments as part of the shedding process so they associate it with affection from you
  • Gradually increase the length of each shedding session as your cat’s tolerance and enjoyment grows
  • Always comb cats in the direction of their fur- so from root tip to hair end
  • In long haired breeds, you might find small amounts of knotting. A de-tangler comb works wonders as the teeth rotate and tease out the knot rather than pulling it out
  • With long haired cats, begin the grooming process with a wide tooth comb such as a de-tangler. We also recommend a Zoom Groom brush that removes lots of dead coat. You can buy both these brushes at Fox Valley Animal Hospital

During the brushing process, you may find your pet has matting. Whether your pet is a cat or dog, please always bring your pet to us for a veterinary consult if you discover matting in the fur. Do not attempt to cut it out yourself as we have seen many injuries to pets that have been nicked by a pair of scissors.

As we’ve mentioned previously, matting can be a sign of an underlying skin problem or unhealthy coat which needs attention. So it’s best to see our resident specialist vet Dr Katie in case the health of your pet’s skin is in doubt.

Think about the excess weight

Humans and pets alike start to get more mobile during the warmer months. And just like we might want to shed a few kilos of winter comfort, so too do your pets.

September is a great time to book your pet in for a weight assessment with the vet nurses. It means you can start your spring and summer outdoor pet play time with sound advice and a solid plan. For pets that need a little extra help, don’t forget we also have the Fox Valley Animal Hospital Slimmer’s Club.

Having a healthy weight ratio on your pet is essential in the warmer months. Our pets not only exercise more, they also become hotter. Extra fat on the skin and around the organs can make it extremely difficult for your pet to stay comfortable and cool during the warmer months. Extra panting trying to manage the warmth produced by fat on the body puts additional strain on your pet’s heart.

Therefore, aiming to be at a happy, healthy weight for the warmer months should be your goal for your pet.


Get prepared for flea and tick season

We’ve already had our first tick case of the new season. And with the big wet recently combined with warmer weeks ahead, no doubt we’ll see plenty more active ticks around.

Ticks and fleas breed like crazy in the warmer, humid months. Staying up to date with your flea and tick protection is a must.

Fortunately, there have been some great advances in flea and tick prevention in the last 6 to 12 months. At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we make it our business to meet with, research and only offer the most safe and effective products available.

How your pet behaves and your location can influence some of the products we suggest. For example, if you have a dog that adores the water, it’s far safer to choose an oral preventive than a spot-on. Or if you have a multi-pet household, we may recommend avoiding certain one’s as they are highly toxic to cats if accidently contacted or ingested by accident.

That’s why we stock the following medications for tick and flea prevention:

Type of pet Medication name Method of application Good for Special
Cat/Dog Frontline spray Mist/spray Only product effective against ticks in cats
Dog Advantix Spot-on Will kill ticks and fleas. Highly toxic to cats
Dog Bravecto Tablet Dogs who love to swim. Ideal for multi pet households. 1 dose every 3 months Buy 2 boxes (6months) and receive$20 cash back. See our nurses for more information.
Cat Revolution Spot-on Good for fleas, does not kill/repel ticks Promo – buy 12 months and get 3 months FREE


Flea and tick prevention should be a year-round part of your pet’s healthcare. The biggest dog or cat can be killed by a single tick. And fleas, while not deadly, can damage skin, interrupt sleep and make your pet’s life and your house extremely uncomfortable.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our friendly vet nurses and/or pop in for a consult to discuss your pet’s needs.

The spring clean continues

Spring is a great time to book your pet’s check-up. That way, we can check on their weight, skin and coat, and get you ready for the warmer months to come.

We’re keeping the spring theme coming! Our next blog will tackle a few commonly neglected tasks that can impact your pet’s health in other ways. So stay tuned for that one.

But for now, if you need assistance with shedding, skin health, weight reduction or your flea and tick prevention, don’t hesitate to call!

Fox Valley Animal Hospital is happy to help you with the right advice on the phone, if you drop in and of course, during a consult.

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.