National Feed a Rescue Pet Week

New Pet? Check Out These 9 Safety Tips For Spring!*

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You and your pet have spring fever after staying indoors for most of the winter. A the first signs of spring, you both get outdoors to stretch your legs, soak up the sun and have a little fun. Although toppling through tulips and prancing through pansies sounds like fun, you should still take some safety precautions to guard your pet against some potential problems that spring presents.

Open Windows


When it gets warmer outside, you want to let some of that air inside. Watch out for any loose screens that can set your cat or dog free. Cats or dogs may decide to jump towards the open window, and any unscreened windows may let your pet into the great outdoors without you even knowing it. Keep your screens secure with fasteners, and keep unscreened windows closed. It’s okay to let some air in, just don’t let your pets out!


Easter Celebrations and Chocolate


Easter brings sweet treats for kids, including hard-boiled eggs, sugary candy and lots of chocolate. Chocolate isn’t good for dogs or cats to eat, this sweet treat is toxic to them, so keep them away from the human treats. True lilies are a springtime flower and an Easter tradition, but they can be fatal if cats eat them. Keep in mind, too, that cats may like to eat the artificial grass you put as a layer in the bottom of an Easter basket. The artificial grass could give you kitty stomach upset. One final note about Easter: live bunnies, baby chicks and ducklings may not make a very good play toy for your dog or cat.


Spring Cleaning


Every spring, you thoroughly clean your house. Keep the cleaning chemicals out of reach so your pet doesn’t accidentally start eating or drinking them. Put the cleaning chemicals in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf where your cat or dog can’t get to them. Follow proper storage procedures as outlined on the chemicals’ labels.


Gardening


Gardeners love to get out and prep their flower beds, vegetables and lawn for the start of the growing season. That means humans use fertilizers, bug sprays, herbicides, mulch and more to help nurture their plants. Keep your pets away from the containers of sprays, and don’t let them chew on mulch. Garden sprays are toxic to pets, and so are some popular spring plants.


Wildlife


Warmer weather brings more wildlife back to your yard, including squirrels, rabbits, moles and maybe groundhogs or hedgehogs. If you live on some acreage or out in the country, you also have to watch out for coyotes, foxes, deer, feral dogs and porcupines. Keep your pets away from wildlife as much as possible, because other animals can carry rabies. Make sure your pet’s rabies shots are up-to-date.


Runaways


You love taking your dog out for leash-free runs at the dog park, or you let your cat out of the front door for some warm-weather romping. Have your pet microchipped in case your dog or cat gets free and runs away. The best thing to do is keep a leash on your dog or cat when taking them outside, and make sure they have an ID tag on them.

Toxic Spring Plants


Keep away from rhododendron and azaleas because these are toxic for your cat or dog. Other plants to avoid include ferns, hyacinths, orchids, morning glory, day lilies, Easter lilies, clematis and bittersweet. If you think your pet ingested any of these plants, call your veterinarian immediately.

Allergies


Pets can get allergies just as humans do. Pets might have a reaction to dust, pollen, plants and food. Insect bites and bee stings may also cause allergies. Minor symptoms include itching, sneezing and sniffing. Anaphylactic shock represents a more serious side effect of insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has an allergy, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Fleas and Ticks


With warmer weather comes the return of your furry friend’s nemeses in the form of fleas and ticks. These tiny insects love to take shelter on your pet’s skin while trying to feast on your pet’s blood. Update your pet’s flea and tick medication, if needed, as warm weather approaches.

There are plenty of things to watch out for in the spring time as the weather thaws from winter’s chill. As long as you take a few safety measures, your pet should be fine. Sunburn and dehydration present other things to consider as spring turns to summer and the thermometer reaches higher, so learn how to keep your pets cool like Frenchie does.

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