Spring is in the air and the sun is shining! Bliss… Whilst you’re enjoying the great outdoors (a.k.a. your garden or your local dog-walking route whilst we’re in COVID-19 lockdown), did you know that there are some hidden dangers lurking for your dog?
Here are a few things all dog owners should have on their radar this time of year:
If you’re reading this over the Easter weekend, be sure to check out our other blog post on – Easter eggs and other tasty toxins to keep well away from your dog
1. PARASITES become more active as springtime unfolds and can cause havoc for pets if they’re not protected. Staying up to date with parasite protection is important all year round to help keep your dog safe from these critters and the diseases they can carry. You can order your dog’s flea, worm & tick treatments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online form for repeat prescriptions.
Let’s look at the three main offenders in more detail:
- Fleas lay eggs at an alarming rate and an infestation of fleas in your home is extremely difficult to get rid of. Fleas can also attack your human family through itchy bites, and they can transmit tapeworms and harmful diseases to dogs.
- Ticks can be most prevalent in areas of long grass and in fields where sheep or deer graze. Try to avoid these areas and always check for ticks on your dog after a walk. You can protect yourself from ticks by wearing long trousers on walks. Never pull a tick straight out as this can leave the head in your dog, which can cause more serious problems as ticks can transmit Lyme disease. You will need a special tick remover tool (you can find these in most veterinary practices post-COVID-19, pet shops, and some online retailers) which enables you to twist the tick out safely – see our downloadable guide on how to remove a tick safely.
- Worms come in different shapes and sizes and can cause lots of different problems for pets. One of the worst is Lungworm, which can be picked up simply from your dog licking something that has infected snail or slug slime on. Lungworm can be fatal and must be dealt with quickly by contacting the vet. Wash toys that have been outdoors, and clean any outdoor bowls regularly. Prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to worms so be sure to keep up with your dog’s parasite protection. You can email our team for advice if you’re not sure what your dog needs.
2. SPRING FLOWERS look lovely, but some of them are toxic to dogs including; Apples (pips), Apricots (kernel), Azalea, Bluebells, Buttercups, Cyclamen (root), Daffodils/narcissus (bulbs), Elderberry, Foxglove (leaves and seeds), Hyacinth (bulbs), Ivy (whole plant), Lupin (leaves, seeds), Onion, Peach (stones and leaves), Rhododendron, Rhubarb (leaves), Sweetpea (stem), Tulips, Wild cherry tree (twigs and foliage) and Yew (berries and foliage).
A quick note on three of our spring favourites:
- Buttercups usually don’t pose a serious threat because the toxin’s bitter taste and ability to cause mouth blisters limits the amount a dog will want to eat.
- Daffodils are toxic to dogs if they eat the bulbs or flowers, or drink water from a vase with daffodils in. Symptoms may include an upset stomach, vomiting, sleepiness/the wobbles, and sometimes fits.
- Tulips can irritate your dog’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Normally symptoms are drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea, but heart problems and difficulty breathing are also signs of tulip poisoning.
If you’re unsure about a plant’s toxicity to dogs, Google is a great source of information. You can also email our team for advice – email@example.com – or check with our online symptom checker.
3. CANINE HAYFEVER, that’s right, dogs can suffer from pollen allergies too! Symptoms include frequent and repeated sneezing, irritated and itchy eyes, which can often also be red or runny, a runny nose, increased biting or scratching their skin, and itching to excess, which can result in bald or sore patches of skin. Ouch! If your pet appears to have some of these symptoms, you can contact us for advice.
4. FERTILISERS & PESTICIDES – are you using these right now or are they stored in your shed or garage? Can your dog reach its inquisitive snout into any of them? Many of you will be cultivating your edible home garden this time of year or keeping your flowers bountiful and weed-free with a variety of products. Make sure to keep them safely out of your dog’s way as they can be highly toxic to them.
You can usually buy pet safe versions of many gardening products online for home delivery. If you and your dog are both keen gardeners, it’s always best to buy pet-safe products.
We hope this advice has given you the knowledge you need to go and make your home, garden and pet’s routine safe for Spring. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
More springtime advice for pet owners: