Our pets are often adventurous and playful, and we love that about them! But sometimes pets get into things they shouldn’t. As we spring into a new season, your team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital would like to touch on spring safety for pets. Below are some of our top tips for keeping your pet healthy and well, and avoiding a pet emergency.
Spring Safety for Pets
April showers bring May flowers – if you aren’t familiar with which plants are poisonous to pets, check the ASPCA list of toxic and non toxic plants. Fertilizers, including bone and blood meal, can be appetizing to dogs and harmful to their GI tracts. Herbicide and insecticide directions should always be adhered to when used around pets.
Easter candy and decorations – most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic to pets, but sugar free candy containing Xylitol, small toys, and other treats can pose major risks as well. Make sure to keep easter treats and baskets safely out of reach. Easter lilies and other spring flowers are another risk to pets. Lilies are extremely toxic, and even one leaf can cause acute kidney failure in cats. The green plastic grass in baskets can be tempting as a toy, but cause a serious GI blockage if ingested.
Toxic temptations – spring means spring cleaning, but your little furry helpers should be kept far away from household cleaning supplies. This includes the garage, where toxic chemicals like antifreeze are stored and used. Keep cleaning areas well ventilated, do your chores alone, and make sure all supplies are out of reach.
Screen time – the fresh warm breezes of spring may encourage you to throw open windows and doors. Before you do so, make sure to check the integrity of window sills and screens. Cats love the warm weather too, and these favorite perching places may pose a falling danger if they are not latched properly or are broken.
Park it – speaking of warmer weather, spring fever has sprung at the dog park, too. Make sure your dog is fully vaccinated, and keep a close eye on him to prevent any dog park tiffs. Open gates are also a risk.
Histamine overload – just like people, pets can be susceptible to the seasonal allergies that come with blooming plants. If your pet is itching (the main symptom of pet allergies), has hair loss, or watery eyes, please see us right away to get them some relief.
Onslaught of bugs – pets aren’t the only ones glad for warmer weather. Though present all year round, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes come out in full force when the weather warms. Make sure your pet’s monthly parasite preventives are up to date. If you’ve let this lapse over the winter, give us a call to learn about getting back on track.
Breeding ground – spring fever takes on a new meaning during mating season. The ASPCA estimates that 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters every year, making it critical to spay or neuter your pets to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Spaying and neutering can also prevent certain health and behavioral problems down the road.
Pool safety – for some, rolling off the pool cover is a rite of spring. Keep your pets (and kids) safe by making sure you have a fence around your pool. Install a ramp at either end for your dog to get out if she accidentally falls in (or jumps in and can’t figure out how to get out). If you are swimming together, remember to offer fresh water to discourage your pet from drinking pool water full of chemicals.
Weekend warrior syndrome – spring means being out and about, but remember that your dog may have had a bit more time on the couch this winter, leading to weight gain, lost muscle tone, and stiffness. To avoid sore muscles and joints, start with slower walks and easy games of fetch and work up to more intense exercise.
Spring is a beautiful season to enjoy the outdoors, a lovely yard and garden, a freshly cleaned home, and pet safety! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!