Spring has sprung! The flowers are in bloom, snow is a distant memory, and the sun is shining on open fields and parks just waiting for your furry friends to run and play in. However, this also means that your pets may be exposed to hazards that can make life difficult for them. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make the springtime even more pleasant for your best friend.
1. Allergies. Watch for signs of excessive scratching. Many pets suffer from underlying allergies to grass, pollen, and other springtime environment factors that can leave them miserable and itchy. Untreated, itchy allergies can lead to open sores and illness for your best friend.
2. Bees. I suppose it’s easy to understand my dog’s fascination with bees. They fly and dart here and there, and it almost (kinda) looks like they want to play, maybe? Whatever the reason, I can basically count on at least one trip to the vet with a swollen-faced pup who ended up on the wrong side of a stinger. If your dog is allergic to bees or wasps, it’s a good idea to keep some Benadryl on hand, but always call your vet’s office before administering it, and follow up with a visit as soon as possible.
3. Gardening. If you have a green thumb and a cat, be very selective about which plants and flowers you bring into your home. Virtually all species of lilies are poisonous to cats and can cause sickness or even death very quickly if eaten. For a complete list of plants that may harm your pets, check out this list from Goodcats.com.
4. Other animals. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on shots and vaccinations before frequenting the dog park or daycare. Many pet owners put off vaccinations in the winter months because their pets aren’t near others, but herd immunity is just as important for your furry children as it is for your human ones.
5. The dog park. After being cooped up all winter, your pup will be chomping at his leash to blow off some steam at the park. Unless you know how your dog will react and respond to your commands, keep him leashed at all times to avoid harm to other pets or visitors.
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!