Spring has sprung! It may seem as we rang in the new year only yesterday, but springtime and its holidays are upon us as soon as we finish putting away the winter holiday decorations.
While many look forward to this season as it means colorful blooms and the reduction of clutter, some aspects of this season present dangers to our pets. Here are seven safety tips to help keep your pets safe this spring:
1. Chocolate, Candy and Other Easter Basket Items
Even with all the attention the cocoa bean gets, chocolate still ranks as the number one pet poison according to vets across the USA. This time of year, chocolate may be wrapped in the form of a heart-shaped token of affection meant for a loved one or it may be waiting outside a child’s bedroom on Easter morning. Regardless, it could soon be inside your dog’s stomach. Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in many common human food products such as candy and chewing gum, is another item to keep out of your dog’s reach. Even if the Easter baskets in your home are not filled with chocolatey and sweet goodness, other hazardous items like fake grass, candy wrappers and plastic eggs are notorious for causing gastrointestinal obstructions in pets. Cats in particular seem to enjoy chewing on the shimmering, wiggling temptation of fake grass, eventually swallowing it strand by strand. Be a diligent feline parent and make sure your cats pass on this grass.
Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs are also favorites for dogs to eat and can cause GI complications or obstructions, not to mention some really pungent gas.
2. Spring Cleaning
Spring-cleaning even solely with products labeled “natural” doesn’t mean your pets are free from harm. Make sure that your spring cleaning products are pet-friendly, and when cleaning, keep pets secure and away until all cleaning substances are dry and out of paws' reach.
3. Spring Plants and Flowers
Easter Lily and other springtime blooms are common findings this time of year. This plant and related plants in the lily family are very toxic to cats if ingested. The first signs of a problem are vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney failure and death. Daffodils, another popular component of spring floral arrangements, are also toxic to cats.
4. Exercise-Related Injuries
If your dog has been less active during the winter, be sure to work your way into an exercise plan for you and your dog gradually. This will help him rebuild muscle tone and cardiovascular health before he’s allowed to engage in strenuous outdoor activities. This will prevent your pooch from developing exercise-related injuries.
5. Springtime Allergies
Just like you, your pet can have allergies to the plants and pollens of springtime. Spring and autumn are the peak seasons when most pet parents notice an increase in their pet’s chewing and scratching. Don’t be alarmed if your pet develops a new itch, but do seek veterinary advice.
6. Fleas and Ticks
Springtime is a welcome relief to many of us who live in colder climates. One thing to remember as your dogs and even cats will spend more time outside is proper flea and tick care.
7. Curb Appeal Hazards
Spring is a popular time for people to freshen up yards. But the same things that can beautify and add to the curb appeal of a home can be dangerous to pets. Be mindful of lawn and landscaping hazards for pets.
Taking a few precautionary steps can insure a healthy, enjoyable spring for you and your fur kid alike. Have any unexpected spring tips for pet safety? Please share below for us all to learn.