Seven Springtime Tips to Keep Your Pets Healthy and Safe

As the chill of winter fades away, it’s important that dog owners remain mindful of several dangers that can be found in gardens, garages, or tool sheds.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, annually their Animal Poison Control Center handles tens of thousands of phone calls regarding pets that accidentally ingested or came in contact with weed killers, pesticides, and poisonous plants. Here are 7 straightforward suggestions to help make sure that your best friend is not affected by these springtime hazards.

1.    When taking your dog for a walk, keep your dog away from lawns and stay well away from poisonous lawn and garden products. One especially dangerous product is cocoa mulch. Dogs are drawn to this byproduct of chocolate due to its sugary smell. Dogs that swallow cocoa mulch can become extremely ill with neurological or gastrointestinal difficulties.

Spring Hazards for Dogs2.    Pesticides and herbicides are  classes of dangerous substances that should always be put away in inaccessible areas. Especially dangerous pesticides include snail bait, fly bait, mole or gopher bait, and most types of rat poison. Similarly, granules and sprays used to control weeds can wreak havoc on our pets’ digestive tracts. Always examine the manufacturer’s label for proper storage and usage instructions when working with these potentially hazardous products.

3.    The fertilizers that assist in keeping our plants healthy and green can sadly result in gastrointestinal problems for our pets, ranging from stomach upset to deadly obstructions. Make sure you follow the directions that accompany  chemical fertilizers and never let your dog or cat run outside before the appropriate waiting period has passed.

4.    Don’t let your green thumb cause health problems for your pet. Several very common outdoor plants are poisonous to dogs and cats and may result in heart problems or liver failure. Among the most dangerous of these plants are the Sago Palm and other members of the Cycad family. Even certain mushrooms can lead to liver failure. Plants that can endanger the heart include Oleander, Lily of the Valley, rhododendron, azaleas and foxglove.

5.    If you are  composting, keep up the good work! You are doing your part for Mother Earth. However, the food and garden waste that you toss in your compost pile or bin might result in problems for your pets if they are tempted by the range of odors they give off. Moldy foods, coffee grounds and a number of different fruits and vegetables are toxic to dogs and cats. Make an effort to investigation the “people foods” that your pet should never eat.

6.    Keeping your pet out of other people’s yards not only makes for good neighbors but can also keep your pet healthy and safe. You never really know what varieties of plants, flowers, or other hazards they may come across if permitted to wander freely.

7.    Needless to say not all potential risks fall into the category of poisons. Your gardening tools may seem innocent enough. However hoes, rakes, trowels, shovels, and tillers can cause injuries to eyes, noses, paws, or other parts of your inquisitive pet’s body. All unused implements should be kept in a properly secured location. Please don’t leave them lying around on the ground.

As the weather improves our yards and gardens can be great places to relax. Adhering to these few simple guidelines will help keep your pet healthy and safe.

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