Spring means more quality time outdoors with your pet, but it also means that pets are going to be exposed to a lot of hazards that they’ve been sheltered from during the colder months- busy roadways, plants, bees, other animals, the list goes on and on. Here are some of our tips for making sure that you both are ready to take on the outdoors and spend some quality time together.
1. If your pet has allergies, be on the lookout for excessive scratching. If your pet is doing a lot of this, especially after coming in from a walk, it could mean that it’s time to take a trip to the vet. If left untreated allergies can lead to painful hot spots and infection, so it’s best to treat them early.
2. Keep your pet leashed. After being indoors all winter, running around and chasing after insects or leaves could seem very appealing to your pet. Leashing them will prevent them from getting out of your eyesight or running into the street.
3. Do your research before gardening. If you’re going to plant a garden or put in some new landscaping, it’s important to make sure you’re putting in pet-friendly plants. Lilies, azaleas and daffodils are just a few plants that can be toxic to pets.
4. If you plan on celebrating Easter with the delivery of Easter baskets full of plastic decorative grass, chocolates and other delicious treats, make sure to keep these out of the reach of pets. We see a lot of claims this time of year for both cats and dogs that get into the grass and need to have it surgically removed or for dogs that get into chocolate bunnies and have to be rushed to the vet.
5. Even if your pet is in the back yard, keep an eye on them. We aren’t the only ones enjoying the warmer weather. Springtime means more animals and insects are out as well. Make sure that your pet avoids chasing insects like bees and wasps, as they can cause major health problems if swallowed. If you live in more rural areas, keep an eye out to make sure your pet isn’t wandering too close to wild animals that may exhibit territorial behavior.
6. Make sure that your pet is up to date on their routine care. Fleas, ticks and mosquitos will soon be out and your pet is likely to come into contact with other animals at the park, out on a walk or even accidentally in your own backyard. With all these risk factors, it is important to make sure that your pet is up to date on all of their shots. If you are in an area that has a risk for fleas and ticks or heartworms, it is important to also make sure that you are well stocked on preventative medication for these parasites and to protect your pet by applying it as directed by your veterinarian.
These are just a few of our suggestions for keeping your pets safe through the seasonal transition. If you would like more ideas or a more detailed list of plants toxic to pets, this link from the ASPCA is a fantastic resource: ASPCA Springtime Safety Tips. While there are definitely hazards you want to be aware of, spending quality time with your pet and enjoying the warmer weather is what it’s all about. So take precautions, but make sure you bring the fun!