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Keep Your Fur Baby Safe When During the Spring
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Keep Your Fur Baby Safe When During the Spring

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Nov 14, 2022

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Spring is a glorious season. Snow melts, vibrant colors begin to dot the landscape, and baby animals pop up in green spaces. But it's not all fine and dandy. Pests thrive this time of year too, and gardening materials can harm unsuspecting creatures, including your pets. These are just two of the dangers domestic animals face, and knowing the risks and what to look for can save your lil' buddy a trip to the hospital or even its life.

1

Allergy season alert

A cute white dog running and jumping in a chamomile field. Capuski / Getty Images

With all the changes in the air, you might not be the only one responding to the pollen and dust with breathing difficulties and itchy skin. You may notice sneezes and coughs from your pets that mirror yours or the scratching, licking, or chewing of skin. Monitor the symptoms to prevent infection and chat with your vet about the best way forward.

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2

Put up screens

Young woman with cat staring through the window martin-dm / Getty Images

That icy edge that usually envelops you is receding, and you're keen to open your windows to let the fresh air in. Pause for a second. Do you have a cat or a rambunctious dog to protect? If the window is high off the ground, it presents a potentially fatal fall risk. Ensure you screen your windows before you let in any breeze.

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3

Stay on guard during walks

Portrait of cute Labradoodle in public park looking at camera, close up. urbazon / Getty Images

With more pleasant temperatures, you may want to go for longer or more frequent walks. Test your dog's fitness first. They may be rusty and need time to adjust to an active outdoor lifestyle. More snakes are out and about, so watch where you step, including around fallen logs at the park. Don't let your fur baby drink from stagnant puddles. In addition, it's a good idea to organize shots and microchipping for your pet if you haven't already, and they happen to jet off.

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4

Steer clear of toxic plants

How could you stay mad? Innocent looking sandy-coloured small poodle dog looks up after digging up a flower bed / plant pot and leaving the soil over the patio. Paving stones provide a space for copy. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Spring flowers like azaleas, daffodils, hyacinths, rhododendrons, and tulips are pretty pitfalls. If you love your botany and your dog, you'll have to fence off an area for your bulbs and create a safe space for your pooch to hang out, play, and dig. You can also lay mesh over the soil you've tended to. Pull out wild mushrooms if you notice any—the fungi can also make your pup sick.

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5

Be wary of fertilizers and pesticides

Portrait of a happy landscaper petting his dog while standing next to his vehicle pixdeluxe / Getty Images

Your neighbors may use rat poison when the weather gets warmer, so keep a beady eye out for lethargic rodents that your cat or dog may ingest. Keep garden products like slug pellets locked away in a shed and follow label instructions carefully—they often come with pet-related guidance. Don't use weed killers willy-nilly; if you're composting, the bin should be secure enough to withstand curiosity. Did you know that coffee grounds in mulch can cause caffeine toxicity? These are the small details that can make a difference.

Rather than increasing the risk of poisonings and chemical burns, try attracting birds with a bird feeder and water fountain. They'll eat the problematic bugs organically.

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6

Put off pests and parasites

Dog rolling around in long grass to cool off on hot day. bgwalker / Getty Images

Springtime brings all the pests to the yard—and yes, we said that to the tune of Kelis's song "Milkshake."

You can keep fleas and ticks linked to Lyme disease at bay with routine garden maintenance to prevent tall, shady grass and a moist environment. Mowing your lawn, removing weeds and fallen leaves, and avoiding overwatering are optimal, and so is a running water feature rather than a still pond that could attract mosquitoes. Check your pet's fur frequently and put them on doctor-approved flea prevention treatment.

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7

Spring cleaning hazards

Woman with a dust stick cleaning central heating gas radiator at home. m-gucci / Getty Images

You may haul out even more household detergents than usual when shifting between seasons and tidying up. These can be harmful, even if they're labeled as natural. Be sure to keep your products in a spot your pet can't reach. If you suspect your buddy has consumed something toxic, don't try to make them throw up, or complications could arise. Call your emergency vet immediately and get your pet to the practice as soon as possible.

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8

Easter aches

Jack Russell Terrier dog next to basket with traditional Easter symbols alexei_tm / Getty Images

Easter lilies are a lethal no-no if you have a cat—even brushing against one or coming in contact with the water it's been standing in can have negative effects. You should also refrain from feeding your fur babies chocolate.

Plus, it's bunny and easter egg season. We know those cute little chicks and rabbits are tempting, but if you're thinking of getting some, do your research. They're more high-maintenance than you believe and deserve diligent care.

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9

Take care of fly-strike in rabbits

A mother and her two young sons gently stoking a rabbit in a sunlit conservatory. Christopher Hopefitch / Getty Images

If you do get a bunny, you'll need to pay attention to its teeth. Dental problems have knock-on effects that can kill. Rabbits produce two kinds of droppings: soft and hard. They usually eat the soft kind, but if they have dental issues, their bottoms attract flies that produce flesh-eating maggots. This is life-threatening, and cases go up when temperatures do.

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10

Provide a retreat

A five year old enjoys time with his best friend. TerryJ / Getty Images

With the hotter weather, your pets will spend more time in your yard. But without shady spots to exercise or rest, they can overheat, or their skin can suffer from overexposure.

Trees are a welcome reprieve, but you can put up a pergola or temporary structure. Some dogs relish paddling pools, too but keep a fresh bowl of water nearby for drinking because chlorinated water can cause an upset stomach.

Reinforce your fence to prevent dangerous escapades, jumps, and tunnels, and plan for home improvement projects. You may have to confine your pet to ensure they don't step on nails inadvertently or inhale paint.

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11

Prowling predators

Tortoiseshell kitten takes first steps outdoors. Alex Walker / Getty Images

While you're dusting off the cobwebs, hungry foxes are shaking off the winter, and hawks are flexing their talons for the hunt. If you don't want your puppies and kittens to be their next meal or contract a virus from a bite, you'll have to batten down the hatches by monitoring your pets every time they go outside and securing your perimeter.

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12

Consider lungworm treatment

Golden retriever dog in the poodle mis1il / Getty Images

If it gets wet in your region during spring, you'll see more snails sliming about, which is a concern for dog owners because that slime can play host to lungworm larvae. Lungworms live in doggy hearts and can lead to weight loss, bruises, bleeds, and death. Your dog's vet can prescribe prophylactics.

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13

Beware of mating season

two cats meet and get to know each other on a pebble sea beach Евгений Харитонов / Getty Images

The weather gets warmer, and the cats, too, are in heat. Spaying and neutering your cats won't just stave off an unwanted pregnancy but can also assist with behavior. Intact animals spray excessively and vocalize in a manner your neighbors won't be happy about. Cats can also exhibit restlessness that leads to destruction.

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14

Al fresco perils

Little boy and his grandmother are playing with their pet dog in the woods with a stick. DGLimages / Getty Images

Those citronella candles you put out on the tables when you're dining al fresco can be harmful, and so can skewers or cocktail sticks that can splinter and do a number on your dog's teeth or intestines. There's a similar risk to using found sticks for playing fetch rather than dedicated toys.

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15

Road trip safety

Cute boy, hugging his black Labrador cross dog, sitting in a booster seat in the back seat of a car. They both gaze out the window. Conceptual with space for copy. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Winter's too cold for those refreshing drives with the wind in your pup's fur. But let them feel the breeze indirectly with the window cracked open just a little. Dogs with their heads out the window can be struck by debris or attract bugs like the ones you'll often see splattered on your window screen. Your pet should be in a crate or strapped with a special seatbelt harness.

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