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Our spring pet report covers preparing your pet for the change of seasons to preparing yourself for the loss of a pet, hereís what you need to know.
Our spring pet report covers preparing your pet for the change of seasons to preparing yourself for the loss of a pet, hereís what you need to know. / Nick Ridley/Getty Images

Show us your pet on the go!

Youíll be in the running for one of five $100 gift certificates to PetCo when you share a photo of your pet on the go. The possibilities are endless: Kitty could be on vacation with you or Fido could be in a frenzy chasing his tail in your own backyard. If your pet is on the go, we want to see it! Post photos to usaweekend.com/onthego between March 25 and April 29. Five winners will be drawn May 1.

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Spring is in the air, and you can bet your pets can smell it. Here are some tips to prepare them for the change of seasons:

Get them to the vet.

Twice-yearly exams are prudent because pets age far faster than people. Also, for some pets (and people?) weight gain might be a problem after several relatively inactive months.

Make smart flea and tick choices.

Instead of relying on flea and tick product marketing or what you happen to see at the store, consult with a veterinary professional about what best suits your pets and their habits. Keeping those little buggers off your pets will make you happier, and keep your pets healthier.

Brush more.

As the weather warms many animals ďblowĒ their coats (sudden, heavy shedding), and require more frequent brushing.

Get heartworm treatment.

Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and after a mild winter, we could be abuzz with the pests in record numbers. In dogs, heartworm treatment might be hard to get because of manufacturing problems. And there has never been a treatment for cats. Focus on prevention and see your veterinarian about choosing the right product for your pet.

Ease anxiety on the road.

Hitting the road with Buster? Some pets are more eager to vacation than others, who may be anxious about car rides. There are a number of products to ease anxiety, such as pheromone-based Feliway (for cats), Adaptil (for dogs) or Anxitane for dogs and cats.

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Contributing editor Steve Dale is a certified dog and cat behavior consultant. He writes a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column and is the host of two syndicated radio shows. Most recently he is the author of two e-books that answer common (and some not-so-common) pet-behavior problems, Good Dog! and Good Cat! (available wherever e-books are sold).