9 Spring Safety Tips for Dogs and Pet Owners
Check out these common springtime dangers that can prove hazardous for your dog and other pets.
Contrary to what the outdoor temperatures have been recently, it really is spring in Indiana. That means spring-cleaning, outdoor chores and activities, and all kinds of plants and vegetation coming to life. It also means that your dog and other pets can be susceptible to certain safety hazards this time of year. Our Good Dog Hotel & Spa team in Broad Ripple wants to make sure our furry buddies are healthy and happy, so we put together a list of our top spring safety tips for dogs. Check it out, and enjoy the season!
- Spring Cleaning. While you might be chomping at the bit to do a little deep cleaning at home, make sure to keep cleaners and chemicals out of reach from pets. Almost all cleaning products – even “all natural” ones – contain chemicals that could harm your pooch. Just make sure you use them safely by reading and following label directions for proper use and storage. And remember, if you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.
- Home Improvement Projects. When you tackle all those home improvement projects, be aware that things like paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets. Even slight contact with the skin can cause severe irritation or chemical burns. As with cleaning projects, read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your pets. Also, make sure you clean up hazardous materials like nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. To be safe, consider confining your pet to a pet-friendly room or area during home improvement projects.
- Gardening and Landscaping. All the fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides that help our plants and lawns grow contain ingredients that are potential dangers to our pets. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places, and follow label instructions carefully. Take the time to research the plants currently in your landscapes and gardens to make sure they aren’t toxic to your pets (like rhododendron and azaleas).
- Party Goodies and Supplies. With graduation celebrations and other springtime parties ahead, make sure you keep a close eye on chocolate treats, which are toxic to cats and dogs. And be aware of any bright decorations and other party supplies made of plastic or hazardous materials. They can be digested and cause obstruction, which can lead to severe vomiting, dehydration and worse.
- Windows and Screens. As the temperatures get warmer, one of the first things homeowners like to do is throw open the windows and let in the fresh air. But before you do this, inspect your window screens to make sure they are snug and intact. You don’t want a curious pet to accidentally fall out of a window or easily escape to the great outdoors alone. Also, repair any rips or openings in your screens, and double check to make sure the windows themselves aren’t loose so when they’re left open, they won’t accidentally fall on a lounging pet.
- Car Rides. Dogs sure are adorable when they feel the wind on their face and enjoy a car ride with open windows, but make sure it’s a safe one. First, don’t allow your dog to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks. Second, don’t let them stick their heads out of moving-car windows – it’s dangerous. Not only can abrupt stops or turns cause major injury to your dog, flying debris and insects can cause eye or inner ear injuries, and lung infections. You should always secure your pet in a crate or with a seatbelt harness while in a moving vehicle.
- Allergies. If you experience seasonal allergies, then you know what that feels like. Our pets can experience the same thing if they’re allergic to certain foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in pets 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, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Outdoor Activities. Spring time and warmer temperatures have a way of bringing everybody out to play. That means more trips to the park, longer hikes and walks, and more opportunities for your dog to run off and explore! If you haven’t already, make sure your dog can be identified through a microchip, and wears a tag that includes your home address, cell phone, and any other relevant contact information.
- Creepy Crawly Critters. With all the beautiful flowers and plants sprouting up from the ground comes bugs, bugs and more bugs! Ensure that your dog is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Consult with your veterinarian to develop an annual plan that meets your dog’s needs.