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Spring Showers Bring New Hazards for Your Pet

Spring is the best time of the year; warmer weather means extended visits outside the house, the world no longer looks grey and dreary, and you and your pet can explore the great outdoors with new appreciation.  Springtime also brings unique dangers to your pets’ health which often go unnoticed until a sudden visit to the vet is necessary.  We found six of the most common hazards for your pet to watch out for during Spring, detailed below:

1)  Too Much Exercise Too Soon: No one can fault us for spending more time on the couch during the colder months, but with that lack of activity comes lack of muscle tone and flexibility.  Just like you, your pet has enjoyed laying around the house and may have packed on a few pounds.  Be sure not to rush out and sign up for a marathon as soon as the tulips come out.  Lack of exercise makes your pet more likely to become injured when jumping into too much activity too soon.  Build up muscle tone and flexibility slowly before tackling a long hike to avoid injuries; both to you and your pet.

  2)  An Indoor Green Thumb:  In sudden appreciation of the growing season, many people start to accumulate new plants indoors.  Lilies, English ivy, pothos, tulips and mums are just a few of the plant species that are very toxic to pets, but are also popular house plants.  Even if your pet is not a habitual plant-eater, it’s best to avoid types known to be poisonous, or at least to keep the plants high up and out of reach.   In case of ingestion, call your vet immediately to see whether further treatment is necessary. 

3)  Time for That Vet Check-up: Heart-worm prevention becomes critical during the warm months when mosquitoes start breeding.  In case you’ve let that treatment lapse during the snow season it is definitely time to renew that prescription.  Similarly, flea and tick preventatives also become more important as these pesky parasites come out of the woodwork during warm months and can carry any number of internal parasites.  

While all these medications can be purchased at the local pet store, it is recommended to get these items from your vet to guarantee correct dosing and safe products.  

4)  Spring Cleaning Brings Chemicals:  Many people take advantage of the fresh air to perform some heavy-duty cleaning, which often bring greater concentrations of chemicals to the house.  Ammonia, bleach and chlorine are all extremely toxic to pets, and can be picked up from contact with surfaces not quite dry after being cleaned with these chemicals.  When cleaning out your house, be sure to keep your furry friends in a separate room until finished. 

If your pet shows symptoms like drooling, lack of coordination or excessive thirst, please call your vet in case they were exposed to a toxic substance and need medical support.

5)  The Outside Might Also Be Hiding Chemicals: Springtime means getting those lawns back to green, and some neighbors use fertilizers and pesticides to help in this battle.  While these chemicals are very good for plants, they can cause serious health concerns in pets when ingested or absorbed through their skin.  They can even be tracked in through your shoes or other pets, so indoor pets are not always safe.  As always in case of possible poisoning, call your vet for further instruction if your pet is drooling, drinking a lot of water, is having difficulty walking or other signs of distress.

6)  Other Animals Are Also More Accessible:  Spring means mating season for many pets, which means increased activity and irritability.  Pets who are not de-sexed are at greater risk for increased attention, be more irritable and will be more likely to roam (among other heightened health risks). Don’t forget increased activity in wild animals as well, so a visit from Bambi or Balto might be headed your way.  Keep pets on a short leash and be aware of surroundings to prevent pet fights and unnecessary vet bills. 

While not exhaustive, this list is good preparation before heading out the door with your furry loved one.  Springtime is often unpredictable, both with sudden changes in climate and unexpected dangers.  With the new excellent weather predicted to eventually come to Michigan, these are excellent tips to keep in mind while you enjoy the great outdoors.

Does anyone have big plans for the good weather when it does come?  Let us know in the comments and you may hear from others joining you soon!

Comments

  1. Very informative. Like the way it is written. It will help everyone i hope. Keep up the good work.

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