5 Pet Care Tips for Spring

Looking to keep Fido and your other pets in good spirits during the spring season? Try these five simple pet care hacks that will keep them entertained, happy, and stress-free!

SOS for Kitty’s hairball stress.

Ack! As soon as the temperatures warm up, the familiar sound of your feline spitting up hairballs begins. Help her by giving her a teaspoon of squash or pumpkin puree once a day. She’ll think she’s getting a treat, while the vegetable provides extra lubrication to help move hairballs through her digestive tract easily. You can make your own or buy a jar of baby food, which will keep in the fridge for five days after opening.

Engage your pup on rainy days.

Wet spring weather and muddy streets can make it difficult for your dog to get outside and expend energy. You don’t mind playing fetch indoors, but worry that throwing away his toughest toys could result in a broken vase or wall damage. A better solution: Save the cardboard tubes from the paper towel rolls to throw at your pup the next rainy day. Lightweight tubes are easy for dogs to grab and retrieve, but won’t damage household items or decorations. Plus, you can still wear Fido so he’ll be much calmer at bedtime.

Amuse your cat with a DIY toy this Easter.

Have the Easter Bunny visit your sweet whiskers with his very own “egg.” Do: Take a plastic egg (which you may already have on hand) and use a box cutter to cut a few holes large enough for kibble or treats to fit inside. Mix some treats inside the opened egg and close it. Then give it to your cat. She’ll have fun banging it all over the house and trying to get the treats out.

Get Buddy used to checkout.

You’d really like to train your pup to enter his crate, but he won’t even come close! To get him used to approaching his kennel without fear, try this: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on half of a paper plate and cream cheese on the other half. Drill a hole in the top, thread a string through the hole, then tie the string to the top of the kennel door. As your buddy licks the plate, it will rock back and forth, making it a fun challenge. This trick will eventually train Buddy to not think of his crate as a scary place.

Scratch here when Fluffy is on her back.

Ouch! Every time your cute kitty rolls over to expose her belly, you take it as an invitation to pet her – only to be scratched! According to research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Fluffy does this because “social rolling” is her body language signal to greet you — basically, “Hello!” Since this position puts your sweetheart in such a vulnerable position, she sees it as a betrayal of trust when you rub her belly. Researchers say you should respond to a belly roll by gently scratching Fluffy’s head and ears to say hello and have her purring, instead of scratching, in no time.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for women.

Marie R. McCraw