Spring Safety Tips for Your Pet!
Spring is here! With the lengthening days, comes our need to be out in the sun, growing our gardens, cleaning our homes, and planning much-needed vacations with the family. Our pets are a part of our families and love to be in the fine weather as well. We’ll take a look at some ways to keep your pets safe, healthy and happy during this change in the season.
Vegetable and flower gardens are a wonderful way to herald the new warmer weather and grow your own food. However, caution must be taken to keep gardens safe for your pet. Pesticides applied to gardens and lawns can lead to a trip to the emergency room. Keep your pet indoors while applying pesticide. Baits for rodents and slugs/snails can be dug up by your dog and eaten, or your dog or cat can eat poisoned rodents. Make sure your pet cannot access bait, and that lawn products are allowed to dry for 24 hours before letting your pet have access to the area. Fertilizer can also harm pets if ingested directly so be sure to allow time for these products to dry as well, and to keep the products out of reach. Meal-based fertilizers and mulch can be appealing to many dogs, and lead to foreign body obstructions or poisoning, in the case of cocoa mulch. Finally, plants themselves can be toxic: lilies, tulip bulbs, azaleas, rhododendrons, oleander, and many others can be toxic to pets. Be sure your pet will not eat these, or that these plants are inaccessible to your pet.
This is also the time of year when many of us clean out our homes or make renovations. If you are cleaning or painting, it may be best to let your pet board for several days. For minor home cleaning and detail, let the pet stay in another, well-ventilated room and be sure to keep all solvents locked and secured. Unplug any power tools not in use and do not let your pet in the same room when you are using them. Also put away pets when mowing the lawn and do not allow dogs to ride with you on riding mowers.
Spring is also vacation time. Whether you board your pet or plan to take him or her with you, you will need to be sure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and free of fleas and ticks. Check with your veterinarian to see if you pet is current on vaccines and let your vet know what plans you have for travel. You may also need to stock up on medicines that your pet is taking for the duration of your trip. Your pet will likely also need a fecal test for parasites if he is to be boarded. If you dog or cat is traveling to an area with heartworms, your pet will need heartworm preventative as well. If you are traveling by plane, be sure to check you airline for their guidelines on travel. You will likely need a health certificate, and an approved kennel for travel. Pay attention to restrictions on weather and brachycephalic breeds. For example, a Boston terrier may not be safely shipped from Phoenix to Houston when it is over 85° F. Whether you travel by rail, sky, or road, be sure that your pet is microchipped and has other identifying materials on hand. Most importantly, be sure that a trip will be a positive experience for your pet.
Whatever your plans for spring, make it a happy and healthy one for your pet. They will enjoy the warm weather and spending time with you!