You know the usual pests to look out for when the ground begins to thaw and leaves make their return to the trees. Snakes, ticks, and fleas top the list of potential dangers when it comes to being proactive in keeping your pets safe. But have you considered the risks of dog park bullying and accidental ingestion of Easter chocolate? Let’s brush up on some other springtime threats before the seasons change.
Throw a ball, not a stick. With sticks being more prevalent after the winter thaw, It can be tempting to play fetch with one you stumble upon during a walk. But a stick can pose a choking hazard, and cause injuries and even death. Read How Throwing a Stick Can Kill Fido for real life stories of how dangerous sticks can be.
Monitor around new plants. Pay attention when your dog is sniffing around in plants on a walk, or even in your yard. New plants can sprout with the change in seasons. Make sure you are well versed in the types of plants that are dangerous to your dog or cat by checking out this Poisonous Plant Guide.
Spring clean with pet-friendly products. Check the back of your cleaning bottles to make sure they are pet-friendly. Also make sure to store cleaning products up high where your pet cannot get into them. Some cleaners can cause severe burns of the mouth and stomach if ingested.
Be on the lookout for seasonal allergies. Allergens can irritate pets year round, but tend to be more prevalent in the spring and summer. If you suspect your dog is struggling with allergies, see Petfinder’s post, How Do I Know if My Dog Has Allergies? Some pets can develop skin problems and even hot spots, as a result of an allergen. Read our post, Get a Handle on Hotspots, for more info on these painful red spots.
Be vigilant about heartworm prevention. The American Heartworm Association recommends keeping your dog on year-round flea and tick preventatives to guard against heartworm disease. Mosquitoes can also transmit heartworms. PetPartners can come to the rescue on this one, with their Wellness Care. PetPartners’ preventative care endorsement can help with the cost of routine care for your dog and cat, including heartworm, flea and tick prevention.
Prevent dog park bullying. Know the signs: tucking his tail, licking his lips, yawning, barking while backing away from another dog, and avoiding eye contact when another dog is approaching can all signal your dog is being bullied. For more on what “good play” looks like, see Petfinder’s post, Protect Your Dog From Dog Park Bullies.
Keep artificial sweeteners away. We tend to think of safeguarding our pets against accidental ingestion of sweet foods around the winter holidays, but we also need to be vigilant in the spring, as Easter and chocolate go hand in hand. Did you know it takes only a small amount of the artificial sweetener, xylitol, to harm your pet? Xylitol can be found in sugar-free snacks and gum. In the Petfinder’s article, Yikes! This Common Ingredient Could Kill Your Dog!, Dr. Ashley Weinberg states that just two pieces of sugarless gum can be harmful or fatal to a small dog.
Follow our safety tips and you and your pets will be all set to spring into the next season with confidence!