Springtime Pet Safety
Ah, spring. Time for beautiful weather, fresh flowers, spring cleaning, Easter egg hunts, and family picnics. People typically associate these activities and things with fun, positive experiences. However, they can also pose some potential risks to your furry family members, which is why springtime pet safety is so important.
Make Your Home Pet-Friendly in the Spring
When spring arrives, the garden gloves go on, hammers swing, and the paintbrushes start to splatter. Spring is the season of renewal, which for many means tackling home improvements, starting a garden, and deep cleaning. However, all of these activities come with risks for your furry family members, so make sure you know what precautions you need to take before you jump into action.
Whether you’re applying a fresh coat of paint throughout your home, pulling up spent carpet, or taking on more extensive renovations, home improvements can be troublesome for pets. Ensure you keep all chemicals, paints, etc., safely secured and out of your pet’s reach. Also, when working, it’s best to keep your furry friends out of the area so they don’t step on things like nails or staples. Otherwise, your DIY project could turn into a trip to the animal emergency room. Therefore, create a safe zone for your pet to hang out until you’re finished and you’ve cleared the work zone.
If you don’t already have screens on your windows, make this one of your home projects this spring. Opening windows to allow fresh airflow is a great way to air out your home, but if there isn’t a sturdy screen in place, it can lead to lost or hurt pets. Check out your fence in the backyard, too. Especially if you have a pup that loves to dig. If you notice any loose boards or holes underneath the fence, add these items to your home-improvement list.
How Does Your Garden Grow? (Safely)
Undoubtedly, a garden adds a beautiful touch to your yard, but if you have pets, be aware of what you plant. Several flowers and plants are toxic to dogs and cats (including the popular Easter flower, the lily). Not to mention, you need to be extra cautious of any pesticides or fertilizers you use. Also, it’s possible that your pets could have allergic reactions to some of the plants, so if you suspect this to be the case, consult with your vet.
The same precautions apply to houseplants. It’s best not to bring any flowers or greenery inside that could be toxic for your animals. Before you purchase a plant, check to ensure it’s pet-friendly.
It’s a classic that’s been around for years -- spring cleaning -- the time to make your house sparkle from top to bottom. But, many cleaners contain harmful ingredients for pets, even all-natural products pose some problems. Therefore, it’s best to leave Fido somewhere safe during your cleaning spree.
When not in use, ensure you safely stow away all of your cleaning supplies. It’s also a good idea to let your pet stay in a safe zone while you clean since you’ll be stirring up lots of dust and other irritants.
Keep Springtime Activities Safe for Your Pet
When you’re enjoying the gorgeous spring weather, your pet likely wants to do the same. Plus, since your pets are part of the family, it’s only natural that you want them to participate in your springtime activities. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize potential safety concerns so you can take suitable precautions.
Easter egg hunts, baskets full of candy, baked goodies, and family gatherings all present several temptations for your pet. Since quite a few things in your Easter basket can be poisonous for your pal (like chocolate and sugar-free candies), make sure you keep it out of reach.
The same goes for Easter decorations that could pose choking hazards and cause intestinal blockages for your pet. If you host an Easter egg hunt in the backyard, especially if you use plastic, goody-filled eggs, keep a note of how many eggs you hide. This way you can verify that all eggs are accounted for after the hunt, so your pet doesn’t get a hold of any without your knowledge.
If you want to give your pet an Easter surprise, opt for some of your pal’s favorite treats or a fun toy. This way, your fur family can get in on the action, without getting into trouble.
A picnic in the park is the perfect way to spend a beautiful spring day, as is going on a drive to enjoy the scenery. If your pets are accompanying you on your outings, keep your pups on a leash (you can even do the same with your cat), and it’s also a good idea to ensure your pets have microchips. The last thing you want to do after a pleasant outing is end up scouring Pawboost for your lost pal.
Protect your pals from critters like fleas and ticks by putting them on monthly prevention medication. If your pet gets bitten or stung by a pest, like a bee, you can apply an ice pack to the area, then just keep an eye on your pet and call your vet for further direction.
And, as much as dogs love to feel the wind in their face, don’t leave the window down during a car ride (and don’t let your pal ride loose in the back of a pickup truck). Doing these things risks something flying into your pet’s face, or your pal could fall from the truck. Instead, always secure your pet in a crate or with a doggy seatbelt.
Increased Time Outside
When the weather is nice, your pet will likely spend more time outside than usual. Depending on the climate where you live, the temps could get pretty warm. Therefore, just be aware of the possibilities of heat exhaustion, which can happen when your furry friends overexert themselves or get too much sun.
And while it might be tempting to give your fur-friend a haircut to help stay cool, ensure you don’t shave your pal too close to the skin. Your pet’s fur offers protection against things like sunburn. No matter the weather, it’s always essential that your pets have access to a bowl of fresh, cool water (try a Giant Bowl) and that they have a shady spot to relax.
If your pet encounters something toxic during your springtime adventures, call your vet immediately, or you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. It’s also a good idea to gather together a pet first-aid kit (no matter what time of year) to keep on hand, as well as a list of toxic plants and foods and emergency numbers. This way, in case of an accident, you have everything you need at the ready to take care of your pal.
No matter how you spend your spring, these tips for springtime pet safety are sure to keep your furry friends happy and healthy all season long. For more helpful tips, check out the rest of our blog for advice and resources on being the very best pet parent that you can be.
- Fernando Becattini