Springtime Safety Reminders for Pet Parents

With the Vernal Equinox behind us, we are all looking forward to getting back outside and enjoying sunnier days.  As temperatures become warmer and the scenery becomes more colorful, spring fever often causes us to overlook all of the many potential hazards that our pets face with the change of seasons.

Remember to do your research before planting any new flowers in your yard.  You’ll also want to keep an eye on what your neighbors are planting.  Flowerbeds and backyard gardens can be a major source of potential toxins for your furry friend.  If you don’t recognize all of the vegetation you see appearing in your neighbor’s garden, it’s a great idea to ask them what they are growing.  Check online for lists of toxic plants, and take extra care if you find that any those items are growing in your area.  Also keep in mind that fresh gardens and greener lawns usually come along with plenty of pesticides and fertilizers, many of which can be very harmful for your little buddy.  Make sure to check packages for pet safety information before you purchase any new lawn or garden chemicals, and help your neighbors out by making recommendations for pet-safe products that you like.

Other potentially hazardous springtime edibles include chocolate Easter treats, Easter decorations (kitties especially love anything with string, which is very dangerous!), and lilies of any kind.

You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your pet if you’re inclined to open windows to enjoy the spring breeze.  Always make sure that you have a screen in place and that it is securely fastened.  Even so, remember that your cat or dog’s claws can likely tear right through that screen.  Windows should only be opened a few inches when your pet is around, certainly never enough for him to squeeze through.  This becomes even more important to city-dwelling pet parents who live in high rise buildings.

Finally, a springtime visit to the vet is always a great way to get a healthy start on the warmer months.  If you’ve been slacking on heartworm and flea prevention during the Fall and Winter, definitely check in with your family veterinarian to get back on track with these essential preventative medications.  Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccines, especially if you plan to take him to public play areas, such as dog parks and dog beaches.  If you’ve noticed any signs of itching (licking paws, scratching, etc), talk to your vet about seasonal allergies and what you can do to make your pet more comfortable.

Your family veterinarian can also give you other tips for keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy during all of the springtime excitement.

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