For most of us, spring is our favorite season. We can’t get enough of the warm days, spending time in the garden, not to mention the barbecues. But for your dog, the spring season poses many hazards. To help keep your four-legged friend safe, healthy and happy, here are ten things to look out for and your dog needs to avoid as you enjoy this year’s warmer season.
- Holiday treats
Easter and Passover are some of the holidays we celebrate during spring. You may be tempted to give your dog a slice of ham, a shank bone or other human foods during such celebrations – especially if you have lots of leftovers. But unknown to many pet owners, ham, among other fatty meat and cooked bones are all harmful to your furbaby.
Additionally, foods that contain grapes, raisins or sultanas can lead to kidney failure in your dog. You should also be cautious of Easter treats such as candies, chocolate eggs or anything with dark chocolate. Chocolate is fatal to your pup. So is xylitol – an artificial sweetener found in gum which can cause seizure and death.
Seasonal allergies are common to dogs. Some of the common triggers of such allergies during the spring season include:
You may notice your dog has a skin itch, runny eyes, inflamed skin, hair loss, ear problems, sneezing or sniffling due to a springtime allergy. Itchiness is also a sign of food allergies in dogs, so make sure to take your pooch to the veterinarian if he or she exhibits any of these symptoms so you can get to the root of the problem.
Warm weather means more time spent outdoors or in the garden. Make sure your dog doesn’t suffer from heatstroke by giving him or her plenty of water and ensuring rest in shady spots when outdoors. Even animals who spend most of their time indoors may be overexposed to heat and UV rays. This can be a concern to animals who love to sleep by the window. Overexposure to UV rays can also cause skin cancer, so ensure you keep your pet safe from too much exposure to sunlight.
Moreover, don’t be tempted to leave your dog in the car at any time as the car can heat quickly which can lead to serious health issues.
- Spring flowers
Cats and dogs spend a lot of time in the garden during spring. Watch out for certain spring flowers that may be poisonous to your pet. Some of these flowers include:
- Lilies which are poisonous to both dogs and cats
- Azaleas which are toxic to dogs and cats
- Daffodils especially the bulbs have lycorine which is poisonous to your pet
- Sango palms which cause liver failure and death if ingested by your pet
- Tulips that have most of their toxin in the bulbs
- Begonias which can cause burning and irritation of the mouth
Dogs that ingest any of these poisonous flowers may develop drooling, diarrhoea or vomiting signs immediately or a few minutes after ingestion. Take your pet to the vet if you notice these symptoms or if you’re worried that your dog may have ingested any of the named flowers.
- Wild animals
During spring, many of the wild animals that were hibernating come out to enjoy some warmth. If you need to take a walk with your dog, ensure he or she is always on a safe leash or harness.
Furthermore, don’t leave your pooch outside unmonitored even if you live in urban areas as he may wander off. Some of the wild animals you need to be on the lookout for include:
- Venomous snakes
- Cleaning chemicals
If you intend to do spring cleaning this season, be careful not to expose your dog to harmful chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, and ammonia. Such chemicals, if ingested by your pup, can cause stomach problems.
Ensure you keep the cleaning supplies in a separate room where your pet can’t access them. You also need to dispose of all the trash in a timely manner.
- Weekend warriors injuries
Your dog may not have had a huge amount of outdoor exercise during the colder months. During spring season ensure you don’t subject him to too much exercise and outdoor activities at once, as this can result in weekend warrior injuries! Reintroduce your dog to his outdoor activities gradually until he or she gets used to a high level of activity and can handle it.
- Open windows
Open windows bring in fresh warm air during this season. However, ensure that your high-up windows have secure screens to protect your pet from a fatal fall. Open windows also present an exit opportunity for your pup. Thus, ensure that your pet has an identification tag just in case he chooses to use your unscreened window to get away and gets lost.
- Insect bites and stings
Pets are also susceptible to insect bites and stings during spring as they may be outdoors more often. Besides, insects and other bugs are all over during this season. If you’ve got a bad flea problem, then you’ll want to know what kills fleas on dogs instantly. In this case, you’ll need a flea and tick preventative that kills adult fleas, kills flea eggs and stunts the growth of the larvae and pupae stage fleas.
Insect bites and stings can be fatal to your dog as they can cause anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your pet has an insect sting or bite, take them to the vet immediately.
- Fertilizers and insecticides
Spring is a great time to do some gardening. However, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides can prove harmful to your pet. Some of these fertilizers have coffee grounds, cocoa shell, or snail and slug pellets which are all toxic to your pet if accidentally ingested. If you notice your dog has muscle spasms, incoordination, twitching, seizures and tremors, they may have ingested a harmful chemical, and you will need to take them to the vet immediately.