Spring Pet Safety Tips
Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.
Easter Baskets and Candy
Many parents find it hard to avoid sneaking into their child’s Easter basket before the holiday, but pets are tempted by holiday treats, too. Candy and chocolate can affect a pets’ nervous system if ingested, and xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free candies and gum, can be toxic to dogs and cats. The colorful plastic grass and eggs found in Easter baskets can also prove dangerous: pets love to nibble on them and, if ingested, these decorations can lead to a blockage of their tiny digestive tracts. To keep pets safe, keep Easter baskets and candy on high shelves, away from the reach of a curious dog or cat.
Easter Animals as Presents
Many families want to give bunnies or chicks as gifts during the Easter or Passover holiday season, but these animals require special feeding and care. Sadly, most families are unprepared for the responsibility of owning these vulnerable animals, and those that do survive the first few post-holiday weeks are often given to animal control or a local animal shelter once the novelty of their presence wears off. Families should avoid giving these tiny animals as pets, and stick to gifting stuffed animals instead.
With their large flowers and pleasant smell, Easter lilies bring a bit of spring cheer into any home. The beautiful flowers can be extremely dangerous to cats, though—wreaking havoc on their digestive systems and potentially leading to kidney failure or death. Since just one bite of a petal, leaf, stem, or even the pollen of the plant can harm a cat, American Humane recommends cat owners refrain from keeping the flowers in their homes.
Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Let Your Garden Grow—With Care
Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.
Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet.
Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.
While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
By following these simple safety tips, the entire family – including four-legged members – will be able to enjoy the spring holidays in a happy, healthy, and safe manner.
*Pet tips provided by ASPCA Springtime Safety Tips& American Humane Spring Safety Tips for Pets*