Warmer weather, plants in bloom and longer, sunnier days are just a few of the reasons you may be looking forward to spending more of your springtime outdoors with your dog. Before you embark on springtime hikes or head out for warm weather park play, be sure to take precautions to keep your pup safe.

Seasonal changes bring out pesky critters and buzzing insects that can be a nuisance and even cause harm to your beloved fur-baby. If your dog has a long, heavy coat, he may require grooming to stay cool, but beware of cutting his coat too short. Finally, be mindful of leaving gardening products and some plant varieties around your four-legged buddy. Plants and weed killers can be toxic to animals, and it’s best to keep them out of reach when your dog is at play.

Here are simple spring safety tips to help you and your dog have your best springtime yet.

Insects & Pests
Watch out for bees, wasps, ticks and fleas as the season changes, as these pesky creatures may wreak havoc on your pup’s time outdoors. Make sure to visit your veterinarian and consult him on a flea and tick preventative medication to keep your dog covered. When on long walks or in tall grass, keep an eye out for buzzing insects who may become agitated and aggressive by your pup’s sniffing snout.

Grooming & Fur
If your dog has a long or heavy coat, spring and summer temperatures may be especially brutal for him. Grooming his coat properly is important, but make sure not to have his coat shaved too short. Dog’s fur acts as a protectant against the sun to prevent sunburn and keep excessive heat out. Groom cautiously, and help him to stay cool and keep covered.

Rising Heat
As the temperatures rise, modify your walks or jogs to keep your pup from overheating. Remember that dogs can’t cool down as efficiently as humans, and excessive heat can be particularly dangerous for them. Keep cool water with you when you do head out, and try to avoid taking him out for exercise during the hottest time of day.

Plants & Gardening
While some plants are harmless to pets, some varieties of plants and flowers can be toxic and even poisonous. Weed killers and insecticides can also be particularly dangerous for animals. When working on your garden or around plants you can’t identify, keep your pup close. Always keep chemicals locked up and out of your pup’s reach.