As the weather is finally taking a turn for the better, all of us can be found more outside, including our pets. Whether it’s long walks and runs with the dogs, or the cat roaming the neighbourhood, spring makes all of us want to step outside for a breath of fresh air.
However, it’s not just us and our pets getting more active. Though the flowers are gorgeous, some of them are poisonous to our furry friends. Rolling in the grass can be amazing, but not if your dog ends up with ticks hiding everywhere.
Here we’ll lay out the problems spring brings, and how you can prepare your pets so all of you can enjoy the warmer weather fully!
Ticks, fleas, and other bugs
Before you head outdoors, make sure your pet has had its flea and tick treatments. Not only do ticks and fleas cause severe skin irritation, they are also known to carry diseases that can quickly turn problematic if left untreated.
The biggest culprit in the UK is Lyme disease. The symptoms can occur a long time after a tick bite, so it’s important to always treat your pets preventively for fleas and ticks and check them after walks in the outdoors. If your pet is suddenly lethargic, losing their appetite or developing arthritis, it might be caused by a tick-borne infection. Read more on how to prepare for flea season, or take a look at our range of bug treatments.
Spring announces the start of the fertile year. Trees, flowers and plants start to grow and bloom. They look and smell amazing, but these flowers bring hidden dangers. Quite a few plants and flowers are poisonous to cats and dogs. You’re probably already aware that lilies are poisonous to all pets, but so are daffodils, bluebells, rhododendrons and several species of ivy.
Whether indoors or outdoors, it’s good to know which plants in your area could potentially cause problems. Within your home, you can keep the plants out of reach, or only buy safe plants. It is a bit more difficult outside, as you can’t really expect your neighbours to pull out their flowerbeds, However, you can take precautions, by only letting your dogs off their leash in safe areas. Outdoor cats are a bit more difficult to control, as you won’t be with them when they are out.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, don’t wait for symptoms to appear, as time is of the essence in poisoning cases. Contact your veterinarian with as much information about what your cat or dog has eaten, or take an example if it’s safe to show the vet. Read more about what to do when your cat has ingested something toxic.
As lovely as they are, flowers, and even grasses and trees can give us the sniffles if we are allergic to pollen. But did you know that your trusted friend can be allergic too? Their skin can react and become itchy. Keep a close eye on them, so that you can give them relief early on. Symptoms include heavy scratching and skin irritation on face and paws. Your pet might seek refuge by lying on cold surfaces to help soothe the itch. In some cases, their airways can get irritated, causing sneezing, wheezing and possibly snoring. Look out for these symptoms and get in touch with your vet if needed. If treated early it can also lessen the effect during this itchy season.
On the flipside, make sure you keep your own anti-histamines out of reach. These can be highly toxic to dogs, with ingestion symptoms including tremors, vomiting and lethargy. A high dose can result in convulsions and even a coma. So make sure you both keep safe by keeping your meds out of reach after you’ve taken them.
When spring cleaning, make sure you also go through your leashes and toys. Throw out and replace old or broken items. The last thing you want is a leash that breaks right when you need to keep your dog near you.
Also, check your window screens for rips and if they are still secure. That windowsill is a great place for a catnap, but less so if Fluffy can unexpectedly fall out the window due to a faulty screen.
Friend or Foe
Remember that it might have been a while since your pets roamed outside as much. Make sure they have all their vaccinations, so when they run into new or old friends, they don’t catch or spread diseases.
While in the dog park, keep an eye on your dog, especially if it has been a while since being around multiple dogs. Play scraps are fine, but when it comes to real fights severe damage could be done. If your or another dog isn’t playing nice, it’s better to try again some other time.
Now that you and your pets are fully prepared for spring, you’re all ready to go and enjoy all the season has to bring!