Pet Talk: Summer pet care

Our pets are like family, and spring is a great time to give your furry friends some extra TLC.

First off, schedule a check-up with your vet. Now is the time that dogs can get vaccinated for certain summertime pests (fleas, ticks, etc.). It's also a good idea to have their health reviewed before any summer trips, etc.

Ensure that any plants and flowers that you're putting into garden beds are safe for your pets' well-being. For a complete listing of poisonous plants for animals, go to the ASPCA website.

The same is true of any pesticides or fertilizers you might be using on lawns and in garden beds. And if you're going to be doing some screen cleaning, pay attention to the types of cleaners that you use around pets (many contain chemicals, some of which can be harmful to animals).

Are all tags and collars up-to-date? Chances are kitties may be playing outside more during this warmer weather, and you may also be bringing fido to more parks and dog runs. Make sure that safety measures have been put in place in case they get lost or run away.

Put screens into windows - you may be inclined to open them and let that fresh spring air in, but cats could be in danger of falling if you don't have strong, sturdy screens in place.