We and our pets may love the warmer weather rolling in, but here are some dangers that come with the spring season. Here are some common threats to pet health and how to help prevent them!
1) Fleas & Ticks: Fleas and ticks are going to start reproducing like crazy as the weather heats up, meaning they’re going to want to jump on your pet! Fleas are capable of jumping several feet to get on a host, while ticks crawl up tall grass blades to grab on. To prevent these parasites from biting onto your dog, try Vectra 3D. Vectra 3D is a once-a-month topical gel that will prevent fleas and ticks on your dog. Please keep in mind that Vectra 3D is not safe for your cat to use. Instead, try Vectra for Cats to protect your pet from fleas this season
2) Heartworm & Intestinal Parasites: Mosquitoes are coming and bringing deadly heartworm disease with them. Intestinal parasites, on the other hand, are usually transmitted from other animals who have those worms. Both types of parasites can do serious damage to your pet’s health. Also remember that heartworm is extremely expensive to treat in dogs and impossible to treat in cats. Prevent these gross parasites with a once-a-month product like Interceptor for both cats and dogs.
3) Garage Dangers: Lots of dangerous items may be lingering in your garage after a long winter. These include lawn tools [especially if they’re rusty] left unattended, toxic cleaners and paints left out, or antifreeze. Unattended lawn tools may become a chew toy for some pets or may just scratch and injure your pet if not put away properly. Toxic cleaners, paints, and antifreeze may all taste sweet to your pet. This encourages your pet to eat or drink them, despite the fatal chemicals inside. Keep your pet out of the garage and make sure to put all hazardous materials up and out of reach of your pet.
4) Lawn Dangers: Check out this long list of potential dangers in your own backyard!
- Bee Stings: Some pets can be allergic to bee stings, making reactions severe.
- Contagious Diseases: Diseases can be passed from wild animals living in your backyard to your pet. Think you don’t have any wildlife? Squirrels, birds, chipmunks, rabbits, skunks, and raccoons can all carry diseases to your pet just by passing through your yard. One of our biggest concerns this spring is Leptospirosis–a potentially fatal disease your pet can get from wildlife and then pass to you.
- Skunks: Typically not an aggressive creature, but no one wants their pet to get skunked.
- Pesticides and Fertilizers: Both pesticides and fertilizers often contain chemicals that are toxic to our cats and dogs. For your own yard, try a pet-safe product. And since you can’t know what type of fertilizer or pesticide your neighbors may be using, keep your pets from lots of rolling in the grass, eating the grass, or digging in your neighbors’ lawns.
- Toxic Flowers: Common spring flowers can be toxic to your pets. Lilies and Daffodils are two particularly poisonous plants to our feline and canine friends. If you have these plants at home, keep them out of pets’ reach. And if you see them out on a walk, make sure your pet doesn’t feel the need to eat them.
5) Other Outdoor Dangers: Check out these three big concerns we have for your outdoor pets this season.
- Melting Ice: With warmer weather, lots of ponds may seem to have a thick sheet of ice your pet may walk across, but the ice is much thinner than it looks. Keep your pet off the ice to keep them safe.
- Erosion: Warmer weather and rainfall also brings erosion off of hills and cliffs. You may think you and your pet are safely hiking a trail in the woods, but then the earth underneath them gives out and they’re sent tumbling down. Stick to the trails during these wet months.
- Stagnant Water: If you’re out on a hike or a walk, chances are high that you’ll find some standing puddles of water. Not only are these temporary pools a breeding ground for mosquitoes, they also can allow transmission of disease from wildlife to your pet without the wildlife ever coming in direct contact with your pet. Be sure to keep your pet from drinking stagnant water by bringing your own drinking water from home.
6) Allergies: Pets can have seasonal allergies just like us. Keep an eye out for itching, especially around the ears, head-shaking, and dry or inflamed skin. If you think your pet is having an allergic reaction, set up an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss potential causes and treatment options.
7) Escape Artists: Spring is here and lots of pets want to be outside to enjoy the weather, but some can bolt out of the yard and be gone in the blink of an eye. Be sure to check your fence or outdoor tether for any damage caused by winter weather before letting your pet outside alone. And, in case your pet does get lost, as your veterinarian about HomeAgain microchips. Microchipping is a permanent form of identification that will dramatically increase your pet’s chance of returning home if he or she is ever lost. We trust HomeAgain’s secure information policy as well as their microchip technology over any other available brand of microchip.
Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, pet health is our primary concern. We want to make spring time fun and healthy for every pet. We offer all of the products listed above as well as diagnostic testing so we can determine the best possible treatment plan for your unique pet. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, give us a call at 216-749-7161! We can’t wait to meet your four-legged-friend!