Spring Pet Safety Tips

Spring is in the air but before you start your seasonal chores or garden revelry, we wanted to share some of the potential springtime hazards for your furry family members.  spring hazards so human and animals can enjoy the longer, warmer days together:

  1. In a time for spring cleaning and home improvement projects, pets have a natural curiosity which can lead them to trouble. Make sure your pets don't have access to cleaning or building supplies during these projects.
  2. Keep spring food and décor away from pets. With Easter right around the corner, the Easter baskets left for kids can be dangerous to your furry family members. Chocolate is toxic for dogs and the fake green Easter grass can cause stomach problems if ingested by a curious pet. Lilies are highly toxic to animals, cats especially, so if you think your pet has ingested a flower or flower bulb and are exhibiting symptoms, you should seek veterinary care.
  3. We aren't the only ones facing allergies. Dust, pollen, and mold are among the most common triggers of seasonal allergies in pets. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, excessive scratching, licking, and chewing. If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. 
  4. April showers bring May flowers. While attending to the garden, don’t allow pets in areas where fertilizers, insecticides (especially snail bait) and herbicides are used, and store these product containers out of reach. Even “pet safe” products can be harmful if ingested in large doses. Before starting your garden, read about toxic and non-toxic plants. Some spring plants, including azaleas and rhododendron, are also poisonous to animals.
  5. Though rats are a year-round problem in Portland, they tend to attract the most attention – and cause the biggest threat in spring. Rat bait is one of the most poisonous pesticides for both cats and dogs, especially since symptoms don’t always show up right away. Be sure to keep all animals away from areas where rat bait is placed and stored.
  6. Better weather means more walks and outdoor playtime. It’s time to update your pet’s microchip and start your furry friend on heartworm, flea and tick prevention. Now might also be a good time to make sure you are up to date on vaccines.
  7. Before you open the window to enjoy a cool, spring breeze, check your window screens to make sure they are sturdy and installed correctly. Pets, especially cats, are at risk of jumping or falling through unsecured or broken screens.
  8. If you and your pet are coming out of hibernation from the rainy winter, ease into the activity. Pets are less active in the winter so we recommend starting with shorter walks and gradually work your way up to longer play sessions or hikes.
  9. The warmer weather in spring means lots of bugs. While keeping your pets on their prescription heartworm, flea, and tick medications year-round, during these warmer months when bugs are most prevalent is essential. If you are hiking, in the woods, or grassy areas these coming months,  be sure to check your pet for ticks after these walks.

If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous item, contact us at (503) 228-7281 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

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