Spring has Sprung!
“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.”
— S. Brown
Spring Health Tips for Pets
Helpful Springtime Pet Health & Safety Tips Courtesy of the ACPCA
Easter Treats and Decorations - Chocolate Bunnies & Easter Candy are toxic to cats and dogs. Keep any seasonal decor out of reach of your pets, as they can become curious and chew on decor or knock over family heirlooms (watch out, glass bunny!) Kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care! Pets are forever, not temporary decorations for the season.
Check Your Window Screens - Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows in your home to ensure your pet's safety through the warmer months ahead.
Car Safety - 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. Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
Spring Cleaning Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage. Please visit ACPCA's Poisonous Household Products page for more information.
Let Your Garden Grow - Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients could be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places (under the sink or hard to reach cabinets) 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 - Springtime means new bugs & critters come out to play. Make sure your pet is on year-round heart-worm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet. For more info check out the Fleas and Ticks page on ACPCA's website.
Outdoor Spring Activities - 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.
Seasonal Allergy Triggers - 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. Whether it be seasonal allergies or food allergies, there are some important factors to keep in mind when evaluating your dog for allergies.
- Remember to always take them to a vet if you think they are suffering from detrimental allergic reactions or health problems.
- Does your dog drink water somewhere besides his water bowl? Make sure that they have fresh water at all times. If you have an outdoor dog, it is crucial you are refreshing the water & cleaning the bowl often to prevent algae or bacteria from growing inside.
- Are you feeding them a new type of treat they maybe are not used to yet?
- Is your dog eating table scraps and/or people food?
- Does your dog tend to get into the trash and eat whatever is in there? They could be having an upset stomach or diarrhea from that.
- Using the process of elimination, try to discover which food(s) are contributing to their discomfort.
- Often times, dogs are allergic to a certain protein source or ingredient in their pet food. A majority of customers who call us worried about their dogs allergic reactions discover their dog is allergic to something in their food. If you're considering a new pet food recipe to try for your pet, Consult with a Nature's Select Pet Care Advisor for a free health consultation for your pet today!