As the weather gets warmer your cat or dog will be able to enjoy more time outside, in the garden and on walks. However, like most seasons, spring presents some challenges and hazards for pets and their owners, which you should be aware of.
As a pet owner you will understand that it is important to ensure that your pet stays safe during this time to prevent an unwanted trip to your local vet. Because you can’t watch your pet 24 hours a day, there are some things to look out for to ensure that they stay safe and healthy during this season. Here are some tips to follow to help keep your pet safe and healthy during the spring season:
Chocolate is toxic for dogs and should not be consumed. Be sure to keep all chocolate treats away from your dog and don’t let them pick up any scraps from the floor or other family members. When you are eating chocolate, keep some of your dog’s favourite treats to hand to stop them from begging and prevent you from being tempted to give them some.
Despite the weather being slightly milder, the water in lakes and streams will still be too cold for your pet. Don’t let your dog jump in, as the shock of the cold water could cause them to freeze up and struggle to swim or cause them to develop hypothermia. Spring-cleaning Be aware of household cleaning products and don’t leave them lying around the house for your pet to get. Commercial cleaning products, almost without exception, contain chemicals that are toxic to your dog or cat. To prevent any problems for your pet, you could try switching to non-toxic household cleaning products.
Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date to safeguard them from Parvo or any other contagious diseases. Warmer weather and more contact with other pets could encourage these types of diseases to spread, so be sure to keep your dog protected.
Just like you, your pet may need support for dry, itchy or sensitive skin, which could be caused by grass, pollen or even plants. To prevent your pet from scratching all through spring, speak to your vet early to lessen the severity and give early relief.
Brush your cat and dog regularly to remove any excess hair that they will start to shed. This will also help to keep your pet’s coat free from dirt and distribute natural skin oils that help to make their coat shiny. Grooming your pet will also give you an opportunity to look out for fleas and ticks and maintain a healthy coat and skin for your pet. It will also help to prevent fur balls from building up in your cat’s stomach.
To help maintain your pet’s healthy skin, be sure to keep your cat or dog’s bedding clean, as during this time they may shed more fur than usual. This will also help to reduce the amount of fur and dirt around the house.
During spring walks the weather might not always be dry and with rain comes mud. After your dog has been for a walk, be sure to clean their paws to prevent the mud from drying and getting stuck between their toes and in their fur.
Be aware of hazards in the garden for your pet. This includes slug pellets, as they are toxic to your pet and could cause illness if swallowed. Some spring flowers are also toxic to pets and if swallowed could cause your pet to become unwell. These include, daffodils, tulips and crocuses. If you think that your cat or dog has eaten any of these, you should contact your vet immediately.
Fleas tend to die off during winter, but as the weather starts to warm up in spring, they can come back with a vengeance. Be sure to keep up with your pet’s flea treatment to help maintain their healthy skin and coat.
As the weather gets warmer, be careful not to leave windows open that your cat or dog can jump or fall out of.
If your dog has been particularly inactive during the winter season, make sure you ease them back into their exercise routine. Start off slow to help rebuild muscle tone before engaging in strenuous outdoor activities.