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Spring Pet Safety Tips

Ah spring, the moment outdoor enthusiasts have all been waiting for - including pets. The spring season is a great time of year to get pets outside and spend time with their furry friends. Like us, pets require at least 30 minutes of daily activity to stay lean and social interaction with owners and other companion animals.

Here are a few spring season pet wellness tips to keep in-mind:

Your Pets Will Be Playing Outside

Spring is the perfect time of year for a dog - it's not too cool; but not too hot. Being outside allows dogs to exercise - increasing important as a dog ages. Without exercise, dogs risk cardiovascular diseases and health complications including obesity, breathing problems and arthritis. 

Did you know that there are over 100 million dogs and cats classified as overweight or obese in the United States? According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs tip the scale. Dogs and cats need the help from their owners to alter statistics.

For homeowners who are new to being a responsible pet owner, we encourage them to install a dog fence in the backyard for convenience. While electric fence and chain-link fence are the most popular types of fence for dogs, there are alternative fence types for dogs of all breeds that are more humane and easy to install. Truth is, invisible dog fence may look great on home properties, but it psychologically and physically abuses dogs. And, chain-link fencing may be overkill for small dog breeds.

Even cats need to spend time outside this spring season. Cats need just as much exercise and socialization as dogs; and with a cat enclosure, cats can explore the backyard and play with other animals without interfacing with wild animals. 

Gardeners: Watch What You Grow In Spring

Spring is a favorite season for gardeners who wish to start planting flowerbeds; but, proceed with caution, as some plants are toxic to animals. There are over 700 plants that pose a threat to domestic breeds including: 

Toxic Plants To Dogs

Toxic Plants To Cats

Autumn Crocus
Azalea
Daffodil
Dieffenbachia
Tulip
Kalanchoe
Sago Palm
Oleander
Iris
Geraniums

Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.

You don't have to give up your gardening hobby because of your adopted pet; but you may want to plant away from the pet fence - considering some of these flowers are considered to be deer-resistant plants.

In addition to plants, gardeners need to be careful what yard chemicals they use to spray grass. Check labels and make sure the ingredients are "pet-friendly."

Spring Cleaning Inside the Home

As with babies, homeowners need to keep household goods away from dogs and cats that may be harmful to them in large dosages. Most pet owners know not to give dogs chocolate, nuts, raisins and grapes; but they may not think about cleaning items. Keep these items away from your pets:

  • Carpet Freshener and Shampoo
  • Toilet Cleaners
  • Vinegar and water
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Bleach
  • Cold and flu medications
  • Antidepressants

Tick Management In Spring

Ticks are a year-round problem; but homeowners saw less ticks in the wintertime due to freezing temperatures. When temperatures rise above freezing, ticks become a problem for both pet owner and pet. Like humans, pets are susceptible to tick-borne diseases including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. 

White-tailed deer and other wildlife are known for carrying ticks with tick diseases. Pet owners will need to do their best to keep wildlife away from properties as to not drop ticks in grasses where pets and children play. This is where having a fence that is at least 6 feet tall will come in handy. If a tick latches onto a pet, know how to properly remove the tick from the skin. The tick removal process for dogs is the same for humans.

Update Dog Vaccinations

Spring is a good time to check-in with your vet and make sure your dog is up-to-date with shots. We choose Spring because dogs socialize more with other dogs continuing through Summer; and this is when dog bites and dog fights most occur. 

Conclusion

      This is a great season to be a pet owner! Enjoy the great outdoors with your beloved pets; take them to dog parks; and play with them in the backyard. 

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