Did you know that May is National Pet Month? Similar to National Pet Day in April, the month of May is dedicated to loving and protecting our pets! This celebration comes just in time as those April showers have brought in May flowers, and springtime is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your pet. However, before you embark on your adventures in the great outdoors into the great outdoors, be sure to take your pets into account with these potential springtime hazards.
This spring weather is great for long car rides with the windows rolled down, especially since many of our outdoor activities are somewhat limited. If you decide to take your furry friend with you for a ride, make sure they are secured with a seatbelt harness designed for them or that their crate is secured to prevent accidents or injury.
As fun as it might be to let them stick their head out the window, this can put them at risk for inner ear or eye injuries from flying debris and insects. It is always best to keep your pet safely secured in the vehicle at all times.
With gardening in full swing, pay attention to toxic plants that may be accessible to your pets. Many fruits, flowers, and vegetables ripen and bloom during this season, but are not pet-safe. Grapes, seeds of fruits such as peaches and apples, onion and chives, daffodils, tulips, and lilies are just a few common spring plants that are harmful to your pet if ingested.
As you keep your grass lush and green, be sure to store all herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, and rodenticides away from your pet’s reach.
As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, those pesky pests are bound to emerge. Make sure your pet is up to date with flea, tick, and heartworm prevention medicine. These medications should be taken monthly and will help to keep your pet safe from these pests and the diseases they may carry.
Check your pet before letting them inside for any fleas or ticks that they might have encountered from playing outside. An occasional bath with flea shampoo can also offer an added layer of protection.
Prevent mosquitoes by eliminating areas of standing water. If you have outdoor water dishes, birdbaths, or flowerpots remember to check them daily and provide fresh water to minimize the risk.
Pets are curious by nature which means a flying bumblebee, wasp, or row of ants might seem like a fun distraction until they are stung. Your pet may only experience a minor reaction, but sometimes pets may suffer a more severe reaction that requires medical attention. If your pet gets stung, monitor their condition closely, and call for help if necessary.
Walk with confidence
Spring is a great time to be outdoors. Taking long walks around the neighborhood, exploring the woods, or playing around in the backyard can be great ways to enjoy the weather with your pet. Make sure they always wear their collar with an ID tag that includes your up to date contact information. Additionally, consider microchipping your pet for added protection in case they lose their collar or ID tag.
Clean with care
Spring cleaning is a long-standing tradition but make sure you store all cleaners and chemicals far from your pet. Almost all cleaning products, even those that are all-natural, can contain chemicals that are harmful to your pets. Read product labels thoroughly and follow the proper use and storage instructions.
If you think your pet has come in contact with any poisonous or toxic substance, please contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Open windows to air out chemicals but be sure that all your windows are protected with a screen as even a well-trained pet can become curious and jump through an unscreened window.
Home improvements are also popular during the spring months. Products such as paints, stains, and solvents can be toxic to your pet and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Remember to keep these products and any other physical hazards such as nails, staples, insulation, and power tools stored away properly. If possible, confine your pet to a designated pet-friendly room or area while you do your spring cleaning or home improvements.
For more information on how to enjoy the springtime with your pet and how best to protect them, contact St. Matthews Animal Clinic today.