Even though it may not feel like in Minnesota quite yet, it’s officially Spring! The warmer weather and melting ice signal the return of blooming flowers, Easter celebrations, and fun times spent outside, making memories with your pets.
While the new season comes with many welcome changes, it also comes with dangers for your pet. Here are 7 tips to keep your pets safe this springtime.
1) Keep Easter Treats Out of Reach
Easter baskets are full of tasty treats and fun decorations for children, but they can be dangerous for our pets.
Chocolate and candy are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that dogs and cats metabolize slowly, much slower than we do. Even small amounts of chocolate can lead to an upset stomach, toxicosis, and a trip to the emergency vet.
Artificial sweeteners like xylitol are even more toxic to pets. A small amount of candy containing xylitol can quickly drop your dog’s blood pressure, or worse.
The treats aren’t the only dangers in an Easter basket, however. Fake grass, plastic eggs, and small toys can all cause gastrointestinal blockages in your pets. Cats are especially fond of the bright-colored plastic grass, so keep an eye on your feline friends.
2) Toxic Spring Flowers
With spring comes the arrival of beautiful new blooms for the season. Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful spring flowers are toxic for your pets.
Easter lilies and any plants related to the lily family are extremely toxic to cats. They can lead to vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure or death if your cat ingests any part of the flower—even the pollen or a few sips from the water.
Other toxic spring flowers to watch for are:
- Birds of Paradise
- Baby’s Breath
3) Install Secure Screens in Windows
As the days start to warm, many of us love to open up our windows to let some fresh air into our homes. While fresh air is a great idea after a stuffy winter, leaving your windows open without any screens puts your pets at risk.
Pets, especially curious cats, can jump out of unscreened windows. If your window is high off the ground, your pet could be injured or, at the very least, lost.
If you’re starting your spring cleaning and you want to open your windows, make sure you install secure screens that your animals can’t get through.
4) Careful of Spring-Cleaning Chemicals
Speaking of spring cleaning, now is the time for many to deep clean and refresh their homes. Many popular cleaning products, even those labeled “all-natural” contain harmful ingredients for your pets.
Ingredients like alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and “phenol” chemicals are all toxic and should be kept safely out of reach of any pets.
Your safety option is to look for pet-safe cleaning solutions, or to DIY your cleaning products from safe ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
5) Use Pet-Safe Garden Fertilizers
Your cleaning products aren’t the only products full of dangerous chemicals. Pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers can all be extremely toxic to pets if ingested.
Keep all of your garden chemicals out of reach of your pets, and look for pet-safe options if possible. One great option is to create your own compost from leftover food scraps that you know are safe for your pet to consume.
6) Know the Signs of Allergies
Just like us, our pets can develop seasonal allergies, especially in spring. These allergies commonly manifest themselves as skin irritation. If you notice your dog scratching more often, or red, irritated patches of skin, your dog or cat likely has allergies.
Other common allergy symptoms include:
- Runny discharge from eyes or nose
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, or eyelids
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, check in with your vet. They may be able to prescribe an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine to help calm your dog’s allergies or have additional tips to ease their discomfort.
7) Protect Your Pet from Fleas, Ticks, and Parasites
The warmer weather means the return of the bugs, including fleas, ticks, and parasites. As you spend more time outside with your pet, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to prevent pets.
Always check your pet’s fur thoroughly when you get inside for any signs of pests, and talk with your vet about flea and tick preventatives. They will help you create a prevention plan to keep your pet safe from tick and flea-borne diseases.
Help Your Pet Have Fun in the Sun this Spring
Is your pup ready to get outside and bask in the spring air, but you’re running short on time with work? Or maybe you’re looking for a spring getaway, but you have a sweet kitty that can’t be left alone. Pup Culture is here for you!
Our expert dog walkers and cat sitters are trustworthy, fully background-checked, and trained to keep your pet safe, so you can have peace of mind.
Contact us today at 651-236-7312 to get started!