If you’re loving the warmer weather as much as we are, chances are you’ve been taking every chance you can to get outside and enjoy it—and your dog probably loves it too! But like any other time of year, Spring brings some unique safety concerns for dogs outside. Follow our safety tips to make sure your dog stays in the best shape possible this Spring.
Be Careful of Sticks and Unknown Plants
Playing fetch is great, but if your dog has a knack for chewing on sticks, you’ll want to monitor their chewing to ensure they don’t swallow shards of a stick (which can damage the esophagus or intestines) or eat the entire, which can cause severe problems. Instead of sticks, consider getting your pup a tennis ball or rubber stick to chase. In the same vein, make sure your pet doesn’t make an afternoon snack of a plant you’re unfamiliar with. Many dogs like to eat grass, but be sure to be aware that some native plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat them.
Spring Cleaning Safety
If you’re deep-cleaning your home, making sure to go over every nook and cranny to get rid of dust and grime, double check that the cleaning products you’re using are safe for dogs to be around. Particularly in the case of some pest-deterrents, you’ll need to be sure that it’s okay for dogs to walk on the chemical or breathe it in—toxic chemicals can make your dog very ill, and can cause expensive vet visits. If your dog does accidentally ingest cleaning products, don’t call Poison Control—they deal with people and won’t have the information you need for an animal. Instead, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435.
Allergies and What to Do About Them
Seasonal allergies come and go for people, and the same can happen for dogs. However, where we experience things like sneezing or watery, itchy eyes, dog allergies usually present as skin problems. Dogs are often allergic to pollens and grasses, and their skin can appear red or irritated if they’re experiencing a flare-up. If you notice your pet scratching a certain area more than usual, check on their skin. Talk to your vet about what to do about skin allergies—they will be able to help you pinpoint what the dog is allergic to and find a remedy.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas and ticks can pose serious risks to your pet, as well as you—if your dog gets fleas, they can hop off in your home and bite you and your family as well—no fun! Make sure you have a regimen in place for pest prevention—flea treatments or medications from the vet work well, as do flea shampoos. If you spend time in a wooded area, be sure to check your pet for ticks, as tick bites can lead to disease. If your dog gets a tick and you aren’t sure how to get it out, you can call your vet for help.
Dog Fights at the Park
Anytime multiple dogs are in the same area, there’s a chance for confrontation and aggression. Keep your pooch safe at the dog park by being attentive and engaged—too often, dog owners sit on the sidelines, looking at their phones or talking to friends and aren’t watching what their dogs are doing. When you don’t know what your dog is up to at the park, it can be difficult to jump into a dog-fight situation quick enough and you may not even notice your dog is involved. Pay attention and stay present when you’re at the park to prevent fights and injuries.
Let us know what your favorite tips are for keeping your pets safe as the seasons change.