For us humans, springtime is a joyous time of the year. The cold weather is hopefully behind us, and we look forward to all the fun things we can do. But this time of year can also bring dangers for our pets. Here are one or two spring dangers to look out for when you have pets—especially dogs.
Easter is just around the corner (or just gone depending on when you read this). This also means that the house is full of chocolate. I am sure you are aware that chocolate is poisonous for dogs? With chocolate, it also depends on the amount of cocoa solids. If it is proper chocolate like Greens and Blacks (yummy – other brands available), then this could mean serious illness, which almost certainly means a vets bill for you too!
Some of the symptoms caused by chocolate are restlessness, drooling and difficulty standing or walking. But this can result in convulsions and cause death. As you can see, it is really vital that your dog does not eat chocolate. I know it’s fun to give Easter Eggs, especially when you have kids but please make sure they are supervised, so they don’t slip the dog any as a treat. It is also important that Easter eggs are stored high up or in a cupboard out of reach of your dog.
What happens if my dog gets hold of chocolate? If this is the case, then the best advice is to call your vet immediately, who will be able to help you. Your dog will likely have to stay overnight for further tests and treatment.
Try a dog-friendly Easter Hunt instead.
Hot Cross Buns and dogs
From around February until just after Easter, Hot cross buns appear in most supermarkets. The delicious buns are deadly for dogs as they contain, amongst other ingredients, raisins. Raisins can cause kidney failure, and all the experts agree that the is no safe amount. If your dog has eaten raisins, then seek veterinary help straight away
Spring Cleaning and the Dangers for Pets
Spring is the time of year for some serious sprucing up but be aware of how harmful some household cleaning products can be for dangerous for pets.
Dogs may be tempted to drink from a bucket full of dirty water which contains bleach or cleaning fluid. If you use carpet shampoo or deodorising powder, this can be accidentally ingested by pets grooming themselves.
Toilet bowls are great for drinking out of and again often contain bleach-based product. so always keep the lid down.
Spring Dangers for Pets In the Garden
Grass and plants start growing in spring, and this is when the lawnmower and pruning tools come out. Be aware of curious dogs tempted to chew on power cables and small pets getting in the way of sharp blades.
Certain spring-flowering plants can be harmful to pets if eaten. Rhododendrons, yew, Lily-of-the-Valley and some bulbs, like daffodil bulbs, for instance, are poisonous. Check and research your plants if you’re not sure.
When weeds start growing, this is when we’re most likely to use herbicides and insecticides to combat unwanted pests. Keep all these dangerous garden chemicals locked securely away, and when you apply them to the garden, keep your pet out of the area for several hours.
Some stinging insects like bees start to appear and pose an obvious danger to playful puppies and kittens, who can suffer from severe shock if stung. Fleas and ticks make an appearance, too, as the weather warms up, so watch out for signs of itching and scratching in your pet. Flea and tick bites can cause allergies or serious illness in some animals.
The RSPCA have a good article on dog-friendly gardens.
Grapes and raisins are often kept around the house this time of year. These are dangerous for dogs and can lead to kidney failure. Please make sure they are kept out of the dogs’ way otherwise, it could be a vet trip.
Wasp & Bee Stings
One of the other dangers about spring is Wasps and bees. These can create a fun game for your dog as he jumps around and tried to catch them both in the air and when they last on a flower.
Nearly every dog I have met or owned has loved chasing flying objects and trying to catch them. This also includes flies, insects, bees and wasps. Unfortunately, if they catch a wasp, it can sting them in the mouth or throat, and as you can imagine, this can be quite dangerous and can cause swelling, and the airway’s making it hard for them to breath.
Try and teach him from an early age, not to chase insects. However, should your dog have been stung, telephone your vet straight away for advice. If the sting is on the skin, then like you would with humans, try to gently scrape it away with your nail rather than tweezers which could burst the poison sack and make it worse. Like you would with a human if they got stung, you can treat the sting with Bicarbonate of soda if it is a bee sting to help neutralize it or vinegar on a wasp sting BUT only do this if you are sure which insect was the offender otherwise, you will make the dog feel worse.
BBQ and dogs
As he weather warms up, people start to dust off the BBQ and get out into the garden (and the odd April shower doesn’t stop them). BBQs bring dangers such as chicken bones, Alcohol, meat skewers. Our ultimate guide to safe BBQs is worth reading.
With lighter nights and warmer temperatures comes the urge to take long walks with our dogs, but if your winter walks have been short and sweet, then your pooch may be out of shape. Take it easy at first to slowly re-build fitness.