Spring brings warmer temperatures – and potential hazards – for your pooch. Check out Tiki’s safety tips to keep your dog healthy.
Tiki loves to venture outside and enjoy warmer weather. He also knows how important it is to be aware of common pet hazards that are typical during this time of year. Here are his top spring safety-tips to keep his furry friends healthy and happy.
- Watch out for sticks. With spring comes a fresh supply of exposed sticks and other debris. Sticks are not only choking hazards, they can severely injure a dog’s mouth and throat. If your dog loves to chew, keep a tennis ball, Frisbee or other safe chew toy handy.
- Beware of new plants. Some pups love new grass and anything green. As the ground comes to life with buds and sprouts, make sure you know the types of plants located in your yard, in play parks and other favorite outdoor spots. Some plants can cause diarrhea, vomiting and more. Keep a plant-guide handy, and learn about toxic and non-toxic plants.
- Be careful while spring-cleaning. As you get the spring-cleaning bug at home, make sure to review all your cleaning products. If they aren’t labeled as dog-safe, keep them stored securely in a place where they can’t be discovered. If your dog does ingest a household cleaner, contact your veterinarian, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
- Properly store your antifreeze. The sweet smell and taste of antifreeze is extremely dangerous to pets – especially dogs. In fact, antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common types among pets. Although there are “pet-safer” alternatives out there, no matter what you use, be careful to store all hazardous chemicals and materials high up and safely out of the way.
- Protect from ticks and tick-borne disease. Not only are ticks just plain nasty, they can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people, like: Lyme disease; ehrlichiosis; Rocky Mountain spotted fever and more. The best way to protect your pet is with preventative treatment – ask your veterinarian for advice and an appropriate treatment plan.
- Be careful with fertilizers and mulch. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, most fertilizers contain a wide assortment of potentially toxic substances (including iron and nitrogen). They could also contain pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Even if the chemicals don’t poison your pet, large amounts of fertilizer could result in gastrointestinal or pancreatic problems. Keep your dog away from any freshly treated lawns or recently mulched areas.
- Watch out for open windows. Homeowners love the fresh and clean air that spring brings, which means open windows are welcome. Unfortunately, if windows aren’t properly screened, they can also be open invitations to your pets. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all your windows and doors before regularly leaving them open.
- Be aware of allergies. Spring is a peak time for allergy sufferers, and that includes pets. Just like humans, they 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, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Don’t get lost. Spring and warmer temperatures means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off. Make sure your dog has a microchip for identification, and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
Let’s Keep Talking
While these are some of the most common springtime hazards for this time of year, we know there are more. Would you like to share other cautions or stories that fellow dog owners should be aware of? Please share any advice or ideas by leaving your comments below.