12 Safety Tips to Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy This Spring

Ah Spring! That fresh scent of nature slowy waking from beneath the snow. With temperatures rising and the ground thawing, we spend more time outside to enjoy those warmer and longer days. As we do so in the loyal company of our furry friends, we need to be aware of some seasonal safety precautions for our pets. Here are 12 safety tips to help keep your pet happy and healthy this spring.

Beware of Easter treats and decorations

Easter lilies (toxic), chocolate (toxic), xylitol (toxic) and decorations (can injure the digestive tract) can all be a threat to your pet. Also, be careful about sharing your Brunch treats with pets. Fatty foods can cause problems ranging from upset stomach to more serious illnesses such as pancreatitis, resulting in pain, vomiting, and dehydration. Keep Easter hazards out of reach, particularly when your pets are home alone!

Use pet-friendly products for spring cleaning

Most of the conventional cleaning products, while affordable and effective, can be terrible for our health, unsafe for our pets and harmful to the environment. While doing your spring cleaning, opt for greener products. You can also try to make your own all-natural cleaning products by using ingredients that may already be in your pantry. You can be safer and save some money.

Watch for seasonal signs of allergies

While dogs and cats, like humans, can have allergies any time of year, they can also have seasonal allergies. Allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen and mold spores, or from seasonal plants can cause skin problems. This is known as atopy and affects many pets from springtime straight through until fall. This condition can be inherited in certain breeds.

Since there are so many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, having your veterinarian examine your dog is an important first step to determine the nature of the condition and the most appropriate treatments.

Use pet-safe fertilizers

Lawn and yard fertilizers are highly toxic. If you can, look for pet-safe fetilizers to the usual bone meal, cocoa mulch, and pesticides used to make gardens beautiful.

Be aware of poisonous plants

Some spring bulbs and flowers can be poisonous to dogs and cats alike. Just like lilies mentioned above, some plants such as tulips, daffodils, crocus' are among the plants that can be highly toxic to pets. Knowledge of the poisonous plants and prevention is key to keeping pets safe in the garden.

Keep screens safe

The warm sunlight and fresh air coming through the windows make it an attractive place to rest for pets. To prevent pets from falling out, be sure your screens are safe and secure by checking your windows and doors for holes or weak spots in the screens.

Watch for paws

During the spring thaw, winter's salt and grit cover many surfaces. Paw pads can become burned and irritated by these. Also, ingesting rock salt can cause dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis, which can be lethal. Be sure to wipe your pet’s feet before they begin to lick their paws so they don't become ill, or have their pads irrited by excessive licking.

Do not leave pets unattended in the car

Surely, spring comes with warmer days. Here in Whistler, we have already reached the low 20's this March. There's nothing more rewarding than going on a road trip with the windows down and the wind in your hair on those longer, sunny days. But don't get fooled. Just like in summer, spring warmer days can turn a vehicule into a hot box.

Careful of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid spills

The improper storage of antifreeze and use of windshield washer fluid can be hazardous to our pets. Their sweet taste is very appealing to pets, but unfortunately both can be toxic when ingested due to the chemical ethylene glycol they contain.

Start flea and tick treatements

Whether you use tick and flea control products, or opt for natural prevention, treating your pet against those pest is essential for their health and comfort. Be proactive about pest prevention.

Be cautious about the spring thaw

Lakes, creeks and ponds are starting to melt. Dogs who have been used to roaming on them off-leash might be unaware of the thinner ice surfaces. When in doubt, keep your pooch on a leash to avoid them  falling through.

Also, as the snow thaws, long lost treats and other less savoury items may begin to surface. Your dog might be very tempted to enjoy them so check around the yard and on walks to avoid the consequences of an upset dog tummy or garbage toxicosis.

Keep a lookout for wildlife

Hibernation season is over, and creatures large and small are waking up hungry and less cautious. If your dog doesn't have a strong recall, keep him on leash to prevent conflicts between your pet and wildlife.

Have a fun time outside!

Last but not least, make sure to get outside as much as you can with your furry friend and enjoy the fresh spring air!