Pets love the outdoors. Come spring, all they want to do is be out and about chasing squirrels and romping about in the grass. But along with a beautiful weather, springtime also brings some seemingly innocuous hazards that can turn out to be fatal for our furballs. Although seemingly harmless, some of the springtime merriments that are a treat to us might prove dangerous for pets.
Here are a few pointers on how to keep your pet safe this spring.
1. Keep Your Windows Secure
As you open the windows to let the fresh spring air in, keep in mind that someone extremely curious is sitting right beside you, waiting to explore the outdoors through that open window. Securely attached and sturdy screens on all windows are a must in households with pets, especially if you live in a high-rise. Pets can accidentally fall off the windows, sometimes even fatally. Also, open windows can be very inviting for curious pets who may venture out alone and get lost.
2. Keep Your Cleaning Products Locked Away
Spring cleaning is a must in several households. But unfortunately, almost all the cleaning products that we use at home contain chemicals that are harmful to your pet. These could irritate and corrode the tissue in your pet’s mouth and stomach.
Cleaning products should be safely locked away, out of your pets’ reach. And, spills, if any, should be addressed immediately. If your pet has ingested the substance, he may show symptoms, such as drooling, pawing at the affected area, lack of appetite, mouth sores, vomiting, weakness, and difficulty in breathing. If your pup displays any of these signs, immediately take him to a vet. It may help to carry the bottle of the detergent, which your pet has ingested, to help the vet determine the ideal line of treatment.
3. Don’t Use Pesticides Are Not Pet-Friendly
Fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides keep the plants in your garden healthy. But, they pose a big threat to the safety of your pets. Any chemical capable of killing living beings (like pests, insects, and weeds) is poisonous for your pets as well. Some insecticidal sprays are known to have ingredients that can cause seizures in cats, and a few fertilizers can cause tremors and respiratory distress if your pets ingest them.
It’s always a good idea to read the labels while buying these chemicals to ensure they aren’t toxic to your pets. Also, remember to keep pesticides out of your pets’ reach. If you have indoor plants, ensure that your pets aren’t sensitive to them. Plants like rhododendrons and azaleas are known to be highly toxic to pets.
4. Lilies Can Be Harmful
Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Eating even a single leaf, biting into the stem or pollen, and even exposure to vase-water can threaten your kitty’s life. If your cat has been exposed to lilies, she may show symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and drooling. If your cat displays any of these symptoms, rush her to a vet.
5. Keep Your Pet Hydrated
Avoid spending too much time out in the sun with your dog. Many dog breeds are sensitive to warm temperatures. Even on days that might seem not-so-hot to us humans, dogs can succumb to a heat stroke. It’s always a good idea to carry a bottle of fresh water when you take your pooch out on walks.
6. Candies Can Be Fatal
No candy is safe for your pet. Chocolate has an ingredient called theobromine, that can be fatal even in small quantities. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Another danger lurking in candies is xylitol, which is dangerous to your pet. Xylitol can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels and result in seizures and even death. Always keep candies out of your pets’ reach, making sure they don’t accidentally eat it.
7. Your Holiday Food Isn’t For Your Pet
It’s hard to resist those saucer eyes at the table when you sit down to have your meal. While you may feel that tossing an occasional bone their way is harmless, human food isn’t particularly healthy for your pets. The meat that we consume can cause an extremely painful condition in our pets, called pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas. Also, feeding your pets any kind of cooked bones can be quite dangerous, as the bones may splinter and affect their gut.
8. Lookout For Snakes
Spring brings out all kinds of creepy-crawly critters out. The most worrisome are the snakes that come out to sunbathe. There are a variety of snakes that your curious pet can have a run-in with. A few of them are rattlesnakes, copperheads, and coral snakes. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your pooch, especially when he’s exploring thick shrubs or dense foliage. It can be difficult to spot a snakebite, so beware if your dog shows signs of weakness or collapses.
9. Invest In A Thundervest
Springtime brings with it unusual weather events like tornadoes and thunderstorms. Bad weather is not only dangerous, but also a scary situation for your pet to be in. It’s important to have a plan in place to handle your pet if you live in an area prone to thunderstorms and other such harsh weather conditions.
If your pet has thunderstorm-phobia, a thunder shirt can be of help. By snugly fitting the pet’s body, a thunder shirt or a thunder vest can immensely calm an anxious dog during an event like a thunderstorm.
10. Keep Rodenticides Away From Pets
Spring invites rats to make an appearance in your backyard. To get rid of them, you have to lay out rat poison and traps. However, rat poison is harmful to your pet. Even if you manage to keep your pets away from the poison, they can still get exposed to it if they come in contact with the vermin that has ingested the poison. These products contain a variety of active ingredients that can cause internal bleeding and neurological disorders. Identifying the active ingredient is critical for the treatment of the affected pet. If you think your pet has ingested a rodenticide, call a pet poison hotline or rush to a vet.
11. Lookout For Springtime Allergies
Some pets develop allergies in springtime just like humans do. A discussion with your vet is important if you suspect that your dog or cat has seasonal allergies. Using a non-toxic repellent can help prevent Flea Allergy Dermatitis, which is an animal’s allergic reaction to fleas, ticks, flies or mosquitoes. Springtime allergies in pets can range from minor allergic reactions to a life-threatening anaphylactic shock from insect bites or stings.
As much as we love spring time, it could be harmful to our pets. This spring, it is important that we learn to protect our dogs and kitties from the harsh sun and keep them happy!