Top 8 Spring Hazards for Pets
Written by: Richard Rowland
As the weather starts to warm and the snow and ice melt, you can finally start to spend more time outdoors with your pets. Spring is full of so much fun for pet parents – more time spent at your local dog park, playing fetch outside, or just enjoying walks through your neighborhood.
With any new season comes new changes, and spring also brings hazards for your pets. Read on to learn which springtime hazards you should watch for, and how to keep your pet safe.
1) Seasonal Allergies
Just like humans, pets can develop itchy skin and seasonal allergies, especially in the spring when the pollen counts rise. However, allergies can manifest themselves differently in pets than in people.
Skin inflammation is one of the most common signs of allergies in pets. You may notice red, irritated patches on their skin, and your dog or cat may scratch more often.
Other common allergy symptoms include:
- Excessive shedding
- Compulsive paw licking
- Chronic ear infections
- Licking of the anal glands
- Swelling of face, ears, lips, or eyelids
If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can prescribe anti-inflammatories or antihistamines to help relieve your pet's allergy symptoms, as well as offer other tips to keep them comfortable.
2) Toxic Plants
With spring comes beautiful new blooms that welcome the season. Whether you're gardening outside or decorating your home with floral bouquets, the flowers you choose are important – many spring flowers are toxic to your pets.
Lilies are a popular choice to give as gifts and decorate for Easter, but all members of the lily family are extremely toxic to cats.
If your cat ingests any part of the flower – even the pollen or the water the lilies are stored in – they can experience life-threatening symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and kidney failure.
Other toxic springtime plants include:
- Flowers that come from bulbs, like daffodils, tulips, and Hyacinths
- Bird of Paradise
- Baby's Breath
3) Cleaning Chemicals
With spring comes spring cleaning! Many pet parents take the changing of the seasons as an opportunity to get rid of clutter and give their homes a scrub to set themselves up for a fresh, clean new year.
Unfortunately, many cleaning products can contain harmful ingredients for our pets. Products with ingredients like alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and "phenol" chemicals should be kept well out of reach of animals.
To keep your pet safe, always choose pet-friendly cleaning products that are made with natural, non-toxic ingredients. You can even make your own cleaning products using pet-safe ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice.
4) Garden Chemicals
Getting outside in the garden is one of the most fun springtime activities for lots of people, but many commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides are toxic to pets if ingested.
Many of these products contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and other elements. In large concentrations, these ingredients can be poisonous.
Keep garden chemicals out of reach of your pets and look for pet-safe options when possible. There are a few different options for natural fertilizers for your garden, like composting leftover food scraps.
5) Fleas, Ticks, and Parasites
While fleas, ticks, and parasites are a problem all year round, they're more active in warmer weather. As the temperatures rise and you’re spending more time outside with your pet, make sure you take precautions to protect your pet.
Talk to your vet about what flea and tick preventative is right for your pet, and stick to the application schedule to keep them safe from tick and flea-borne diseases. When your pet comes inside, it’s also important to check their fur thoroughly for any sign of pests.
Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Home Spray is a great way to protect your pet from parasites and keep your home pest-free. It uses natural eugenol and cedarwood active ingredients to kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes on contact, while also repelling them for up to two weeks. Plus, when used as directed, it's safe for people, pets, and the planet.
6) Chocolates and Candies
Although Easter and other spring holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends, they can be dangerous for our furry family members.
Chocolates, candy, and other fun treats are great for people, but chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that cats and dogs struggle to metabolize. Even small amounts can lead to digestive upset, toxicosis, or life-threatening symptoms.
Sugar can also cause an upset stomach and contribute to weight gain, but artificial sweeteners are the most dangerous ingredient. Xylitol can quickly drop your pet's blood sugar levels, leading to hypoglycemia, pancreatitis, and even liver failure.
If your pet ingests xylitol, call the local animal poison control helpline and take them to an emergency vet right away.
7) Open Windows
With the temperatures rising, many people love opening up their windows to let in the fresh air. While the fresh breeze is welcoming after winter, an open window also presents a safety risk for your pets, especially curious cats that are quick to jump out or fall through an unscreened window, and, in a worst case scenario, become a missing pet.
If you want to keep your windows open, install secure screens to keep your pets from getting through, or inspect your current window screens for any sign of rips, holes, or other damage. You should also monitor your pets closely while the windows are open.
8) Thawing Lakes and Ponds
When the temperatures rise, the surrounding lakes and ponds start to thaw, leaving the remaining ice thin. While these waterways may have been safe to walk on in the depths of winter, they're now too dangerous to risk with your pet.
Keep away from all waterways, and keep your pet secure on a leash during your walks to keep your pet from wandering onto thin ice.
Are You Ready for Springtime with Your Pet?
Spring is a time for new beginnings, stretching after a restful winter, and getting out and about with your pets to enjoy the sunshine.
While there are a few springtime hazards to be aware of, as long as you take the necessary precautions – like flea and tick preventative and pet-safe cleaning products – you can have a fun, safe spring with your pet.
Check out our selection of all-natural pet supplies for a wide range of natural solutions to keep your furry friend healthy and safe this spring.