Spring has sprung! Before you welcome the warmer weather and fresh spring breeze with open doors and extra time outdoors, check out this list of the top 10 spring pet health hazards you need to know about:
1. Spring Cleaning: Many cleaners contain hazardous chemicals that are toxic to pets. Even “green” cleaners can be guilty of this. Check the labels carefully and keep them out of reach.
2. Pesky Parasites: Warmer weather means the return of parasites, like fleas and ticks. Mosquito season is also rapidly approaching, meaning that dogs and cats will be at risk for contracting heartworms. We recommend year round preventative, but if your pets have been off of their flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives for the winter, it’s time to get them back on schedule.
3. Garden with Care: If your green thumb has been aching to get back into the garden, now’s the time. Just remember that many fertilizers and pesticides are harmful to pets if ingested. Keep outdoor garden hazards well out of the reach of your pets.
4. Construction Cat-astrophes: Spring also gets some of us in the mood for catching up on home repairs. Paints and solvents are extremely dangerous if ingested. Don’t forget about other dangers of home repairs, like stray nails, staples and blades that can injure pets who are allowed in the danger zone (just ask Milo, a puggle who ingested a razor blade and carpeting, leading to over $3,000 in vet bills!).
5. Blossoms and Bushes: Many of our garden plants and flowers are starting to spring back to life, but remember that many are toxic if ingested. Azaleas, rhododendrons, foxglove, onions, lilies and daffodils are all members of a large list of potential trouble makers if ingested.
6. Itchy Paws: Dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies just like us. Typically, allergic pets show their symptoms in their skin and ears, so if your dog or cat is licking or scratching more than usual, have your vet check them out. Allergies could be to blame.
7. Chips and Dip: Most of us spend more time outdoors in the spring – the weather is too good to resist! And what’s a day playing outdoors without our four-legged family members? Microchipping your pet is the best way to help bring them home if they get lost.
8. Window Tails: Open doors and windows let in wonderful breezes, but they also allow for the unintentional escape of your pets. Check to make sure that screens are secure. Cats are especially prone to falling out of windows when the screen gives way during a catnap in the spring sun.
9. Catch of the Day: If you’re itching to get out on the water for some springtime fishing, keep your tackle box closed, so your pet doesn’t get tangled up in it! Remember that fishing hooks and line are prime targets for curious cats and pups. A mixed breed pup named Betsy accidentally got a fishing hook stuck in her esophagus; luckily Petplan was there to help with the $5,830 bill.
10. Get Grooming: Warm weather can trigger shedding in your furry family members. Brush them daily to avoid a serious infestation of fur tumbleweeds and to keep hairballs at a minimum.