By: Emily Watson
Spring has sprung! Keep your pet safe and happy all season long with these helpful tips.
Spring is a wonderful season – especially if you’re a companion animal. Warmer temperatures mean longer walks, plenty of mud to roll in and more birds to watch through the windows. But there are also a few dangers associated with this time of year, and it’s your responsibility to keep your cat and dog safe. Follow these tips for a happy, healthy spring!
1. Prevent seasonal allergies
Does your pet start to itch as soon as the snow starts to melt? Book an appointment with your vet to determine whether he’s suffering from seasonal allergies. If so, help relieve his symptoms by boosting immunity, transitioning him to an anti-inflammatory diet and doing your best to limit his exposure to common seasonal allergens such as pollen.
2. Scan for toxic plants
April showers bring May flowers! Just be sure they aren’t going to harm your cat or dog. Take a stroll up and down your street to identify any toxic flowers or shrubbery. When walking your dog, keep him far away from these dangerous plants. While you’re at it, check with your neighbors to determine whether they’re using any toxic fertilizers or pesticides that can make your pet sick if accidentally ingested – and stay away from cocoa mulch!
3. Secure open windows
Kitties love to lounge in open windows, breathing in the fresh, spring air and soaking up the sun. There’s no harm in this pastime, just be sure your screens are safe and secure, and patch any holes that may have materialized over the winter months.
4. Protect him from the sun
In some locations, heatstroke and sunburn won’t be much of an issue until the summer months. If you live in the south, however, it’s important to be aware of these environmental threats. No matter where you live, keep in mind that your pet is transitioning to warmer temperatures and stronger UV rays the same way you are, so don’t let him run too hard or bask in the sun unprotected for extended periods of time.
5. Keep him away from wildlife
Hibernation season is over, and creatures large and small are lurking in forests and fields. If you’re in the habit of walking your dog off-leash, teach him to leave wild animals alone. This will keep him – and all his fellow critters – safe from harm’s way.
6. Safely store chemical cleaning products
Starting your spring cleaning? Always store any harmful chemical-based cleaners where your animals can’t access them. Better yet, switch to all-natural cleaning solutions – they’re safer for you, your pets and the environment!
7. Exercise caution around streams and rivers
Like children, companion animals are at risk of falling into fast-flowing bodies of water. Thawing ponds and lakes also pose a risk to off-leash dogs who don’t know any better, so be sure your dog is well trained if you plan to let him roam free.
8. Keep bugs at bay
Ticks and fleas and mosquitoes – oh my. As temperatures rise and insects start breeding at high rates, it’s time to ensure your animal is protected. Start by removing all stagnant water sources – AKA bug breeding grounds – from your property. Next, look for natural insect repellents rather than chemical spot-on treatments, which are harmful to his health. Finally, boost his immune system to offer an extra layer of protection from bug-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, malaria and heartworm.
Shake off those winter blues and enjoy everything spring has to offer you and your pets – just be sure to keep all these safety tips in mind!