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Make sure your dog or cat has nothing to worry about but smelling roses (and other … things) as you venture out this season.

By Leah Lopez Cardenas
March 23, 2021
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Spring has sprung and we're all ready to welcome some warmer weather, sunnier skies, and more outdoor playtime with our pets. To make sure this season stays sunny, keep these six spring pet safety concerns in mind when you have your next dog's day out.

1. Fleas, Ticks, and Other Parasites

Parasites can lurk on tall grass and crawl on your pet after a hike in the woods, a jaunt in a field, a playdate at the dog park, or just a quick romp in the backyard. Keep fleas and ticks off your dog or cat this spring by making sure to use preventative flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian and avoiding those tall grassy areas on your walks if you can.

Either way, examine your pet regularly and if you notice a tick, remove it promptly. If you notice any signs of infection, it's probably a good idea to schedule a check up with your vet.

2. Seasonal Allergies

Us humans with pollen allergies are usually in for a rude awakening when spring first arrives. And the same can be said for your pets! When you notice your itchy dog or cat scratching more often than usual, their skin is red and irritated, swelling, hair loss, or other allergy symptoms, it's probably time to get your pet tested for allergies and treated appropriately.

If itching persists, your veterinarian may recommend benadryl for your dog or cat, but always make sure to check in with the vet before giving your pet any medications.

3. Unpredictable Weather

You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. Make sure you're prepared for any unexpected inclement weather by taking along the right gear like a rain jacket, umbrella, rain boots in wet weather and a water bottle or collapsible bowl for frequent hydration breaks when you venture out for a hike, walk, run, or bike ride with your dog or cat in the heat.

In the event that your area is experiencing extremely inclement weather such as a hurricane or tornado, it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on the forecast and prepare a go bag so you can scoop up your pets and go before disaster strikes.

4. Spring Cleaning

When the weather gets warmer, we all want to open the windows for some fresh air and start tackling our spring cleaning checklist. Although we might like the clean smell of bleach or disinfectant cleaners, they can be toxic for our pets. Be sure you check the ingredients in any cleaning products you're using around the house and try to purchase pet-safe cleaning supplies whenever possible. 

If you must use a certain potentially toxic cleaning product, ensure your pet cannot access the area or be exposed to the poisonous substance.

Cleaning products aren't the only household toxin to we cautious of. Home improvement products like paint, stain, and putty are one of the ASPCA's top pet poisons they get calls about each year on their poison control hotline. If your pet does ingest something toxic, call (888) 426-4435 or your veterinary clinic's 24-hour urgent care number if they have one.

dog looking up in garden
Credit: Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty

5. Plants

Arguably the best part about spring is the beautiful blooming flowers, budding trees, and green all around. While they're lovely to look at, some of those plants are toxic for dogs and cats. Before you head out on a nature walk or start on any new landscaping projects, get familiar with common plants that are poisonous for dogs and cats and steer clear of them.

Lilies in particular are popular plants around Easter and all throughout the spring, but if you have a cat, definitely steer clear of these flowers as they can cause kidney failure and even death if a cat ingests one. Even coming in contact with the pollen or drinking the water from a vase full of lilies can be dangerous!

6. Spring Holiday Chocolate

With spring comes some of our favorite holidays in the U.S., including Easter, May Day, and Mother's Day. The one thing these holidays have in common? Chocolate! And while we humans love our chocolate, it's toxic for dogs and cats, but for dogs it can be especially harmful.

Keep the chocolate put away and out of reach for your pets and try putting together one of these pet-safe Easter baskets or May Day baskets to celebrate spring with your furry friend instead.