Spring Has Sprung!
Spring has sprung which means a lot more time spent outdoors with our beloved companions. Here are some tips to help you keep your pets safe and healthy;
Spring Plants and Flowers
Watch out for poisonous plants. Species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils, spring bulbs and azaleas. If you notice any signs of poisoning such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing – then contact your vet immediately.
Dogs love spending time in the garden. Make sure that your garden is safe for your dog and be careful if you need to use any pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Slug and snail pellets (Metaldehyde) is a common poison that makes dogs poorly. The toxic compound is metaldehyde (not all slug pellets contain metaldehyde) and only small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning. Avoid using cocoa shell mulch, it is toxic to dogs (contains the same ingredient as chocolate).
Wasps and Bee Stings
Most cases of wasp or bee stings are not emergencies. With a bee sting, check and remove the sting if it is still in place, then bathe the area in bicarbonate of soda. With wasp stings bathe the area with malt vinegar or lemon juice.
If your dog is stung in or near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Dogs, like humans, can be allergic or become allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties. Contact your vet immediately if you have any concerns.
Make sure your dog is up to date with their vaccinations, flea and tick medications as this is the time of year fleas and ticks start to increase in number.
- During the tick season (April through September), limit your dog’s exposure to known tick-infested areas.
- Ticks often hide in tall grasses and dense vegetation.
- Examine your dog for ticks daily during tick season. Be sure to check inside and behind his ears and around their eyes, all favourite tick hiding places.
Just like people, dogs and cats can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin. Some pets will even change their behaviour due to irritation. Some will suffer respiratory symptoms or runny eyes.
BBQS and Parties
Be aware of which human foods are dangerous to your dog and make sure your guests know the rules too. If you are having a BBQ make sure your dog is kept at a safe distance from the hot BBQ and remember that party food is not for pets – make sure you keep food and drink out of paw’s reach. Kebab skewers, alcohol, corn on the cob and bones are particularly dangerous BBQ hazards for your pet.