Spring is here yet again, seems cyclic right? Now that the weather has turned warmer, everyone starts thinking about Spring Festivities, annual spring yard clean up and the never ending list of home improvements to start on. Before you undertake this round of seasonal chores, take a moment to check out these potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.
- Easter may move around the calendar each year but the baskets, candy and egg hunts remain rather constant. Chocolate, Xylitol (sugar-free sweetner), Easter Lilies along with plastic grass & eggs can be fatal to your pet. Your pets will be tempted by all of these fun things too, so its best to keep Easter up and out of reach of your inquisitive dog or cat.
- Fresh Spring air and sweetly scented breeze usually mean open windows. Be sure your screens are intact and secure. Cats especially are likely to jump or fall through unscreened windows and even dogs can be lured out by small quick moving animals or that vicious looking leaf blowing across the lawn.
- Most dogs love to stick their head out the windows of a vehicle and pull in all those glorious scents on the wind. Never allow your dog to ride in the bed of a truck and be aware sticking their heads out the window can also be dangerous. Flying debris or insects can cause serious eye or ear injuries and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury or worse. Pets riding in vehicles should always be secured inside, in their crates or wearing a seatbelt harness. For those of you who cave to the sad dog eyes begging to be hanging out the window, take precautions – doggles can help prevent a bee to the eye.
- Nearly all cleaning products, even natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. Always read and follow the cleaner’s directions for proper use. To keep your pets safe and to prevent paw prints across a freshly cleaned floor, crate or contain your pets in another room during the cleaning frenzy and all surfaces have dried.
- Now that the winter snow has receded, the ‘to-lists’ are growing quicker than most lawns. Spring repair or remodeling projects usually involve power tools, paints and loud noises. Be cautious of chemical exposure, tool or construction noises, project materials and physical hazards like blades, nails or insulation left laying around the house.
- While planning this year’s garden and landscape adventures, be mindful of the plants and chemicals you will be using as well. Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides are all dangerous chemicals for your pets, even the organic ones. Some plants too! Always store products up and away from pets and follow all labels carefully. Check that your new front yard centerpiece plant is safe to have around pets, especially if your own a dog or cat who seems to believe they were a cow in another life.
- Ah Spring! Fresh air, fresh pollen, fresh snot… Like humans, animals can have allergies too. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause the same types of itching, sneezing, sniffling symptoms we experience. Contact your vet if you suspect your pet has seasonal allergies to for an exam and treatment plan.
- Besides sprouting flowers and leaves, Spring also brings forth the insects. Bee or other insect bites & stings can cause serious discomfort for your pets or even trigger the potentially life threatening anaphylactic shock. Not to mention the heartworm that mosquitoes carry, the various diseases ticks can transmit and the pesky ailments fleas like to share. Discuss year-round heartworm prevention as well as other bug reduction treatments with your vet.
- The warmer weather means more trips to the park, more meandering walks and higher possibilities of your pet wandering off which is ever pet owner’s worst nightmare. Identification is key for misplaced pets to be found again. Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip and wears tags with your contact information.
Sources: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, aspcs.org; American Humane, americanhumane.org; Petfinder, petfinder.com