With long days and warm weather just around the corner, now’s the time to fill your calendar with fun, pet-related activities. Here are top tips for enjoying spring to the fullest while keeping your pets safe.

1. Invest in Bug Protection
Though you may have taken the winter off from flea and tick prevention (not recommended), it’s time to start up again before spending extended periods of time in the park or any wooded areas. These pesky pets can be a nightmare to get rid of and can carry diseases that could prove fatal to your pet.

2. Renew Your Pet License
Make sure to get your dog or cat’s animal license renewed and securely fastened to their collars. As obedient as your dog can be at the park, a change in seasons can bring forth a whole new environment just waiting to be explored. Having proper tags on your animal will allow your town or city to make sure you’re reunited with your pet should the two of you be separated.

3. Make Sure Vaccines are Up-to-Date
Staying on top of your pet’s vaccinations is especially important during springtime. Dogs are spending more time in the park with each other and are likely to come across some new puppy, raccoon or squirrel friends. Keeping their rabies, parvo and distemper vaccinations up-to-date will help protect your pup from potentially deadly diseases. This is especially important if you own a small puppy.

4. Make a Play Date
We all tend to take shortcuts when it comes to our walking route or period of time spent at the park when the temperatures begin to drop. Now that it’s beginning to warm up a bit, schedule a puppy play date with your neighbor’s dog or your pup’s long-lost puppy kindergarten mate.

5. Find a New Park
Free afternoons or weekends in the spring are meant for exploring. Make a point to divert from your usual route and find a new park full of sticks, trees and grass to explore. Play a game of fetch or simply spend some time snoozing in the shade.

6. Break Curfew
As the sun begins setting later in the day, take a few extra minutes to stop and admire the sunset on your evening walk. Bring the whole family along or enjoy the quiet with your furriest family member.

7. Do Some Spring Cleaning
While you clean out the closets and change your sheets, take a few minutes to focus on your pet’s area. Clean out and scrub the litter boxes, kennels and food dishes for a fresh, spring start. Give your pet’s bed a good wash and see what kind of surprises they’ve been keeping from you.

8. Break in a New Toy
Once you’ve found that new park, use it to break in the new toy you’ve been dying to try. A single game of fetch can quickly turn into an intense ultimate Frisbee tournament among friends and their pups, leaving everyone happy and exhausted by the time you get home.

9. Enjoy Date Night
If your local bar or favorite restaurant allows it, like Sally and Henry’s Doghouse, let your pup tag along for date night and take a seat outside to enjoy the scene. Your dog will be thrilled to keep you company as you eat and won’t need anything more than a fresh bowl of water and maybe a treat every now and again.

10. Take a Drive
Now that you can finally drive with the windows down or put the top down, pile into the car and take a ride to the beach or a local hiking trail for an outdoor adventure. Bring a picnic with snacks for you and your pup, and if someone behaves themselves, present them with a new bone to make long car rides more fun.

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