Enjoy spring weather but be cautious

By Krista DeCarle

With warm temperatures finally here, most people and their pets want to head outside and enjoy the weather while it lasts. But there are hazards, some even life threatening, that you should watch out for when your pets are enjoying the great outdoors.

  • Watch for new plants beginning to grow. Many fresh plants can be appetizing to pets but could also be poisonous. Lilies, foxglove and tulips are just some of the plants that can be poisonous to both dogs and cats.
  • Fertilizers, weed killers and other garden chemicals can cause not only poisoning, but chemical burns and respiratory issues in many pets. Ensure you store these products in safe area out of reach of your pets and small children.
  • Parasites like fleas, ticks and worms can compromise your pet’s health. Clean up pet waste and look for mouse droppings as mice can carry worms that can be passed on to our pets if they come in contact. Certain worms can be passed onto humans from pets which means our health is also at risk. Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and watch for any changes in your dog’s behaviour that may indicate a problem.
  • Spring mould from grasses can spur up allergies. Dogs or cats that have allergies can have a heightened reaction during this time. They can pick it up in the grasses, dust being blown around and new pollens. Allergies can show differently in each animal from runny eyes, skin irritations, excessive scratching and in some cases the pets can have breathing issues where they need to seek vet assistance.

Spring is a wonderful time of year to head out with your pet and enjoy the good weather. But make sure your pets are kept safe while taking in the joys of the season.

—Krista DeCarle is the owner of Royal Pooch Pet Services in Calgary, AB, and is a pet first aid instructor for Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid.